Health Insights

7 Strange and Unusual Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that is unique to each patient, meaning that no two people experience the exact same disease manifestations. While there are common symptoms that many MS patients share, such as pain and chronic fatigue, some may experience more unusual symptoms. Seven of…

Should I Worry More About Coronavirus if I Have MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the myelin sheath, the protective covering of nerve fibers. This disrupts the conduction of electrical impulses between the brain and the body, causing symptoms that range from muscle spasms and spasticity to fatigue and pain.

Could My Child Have MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective coating that surrounds nerve fibers and helps them function. Damage to this protective coating, called myelin, means the nerve fibers are fragile and easily damaged. MS in children, or pediatric MS, is…

Fasting and MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the protein coating that protects nerve fibers from damage. It is unknown what triggers the immune system’s attack, but many MS treatments are targeted at reducing inflammation to curb the activity of the immune system.

Emotional Disturbances and SPMS

About 65% of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) will progress to a second stage of the disease called secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). People with SPMS often have a variety of symptoms that can lead to a roller coaster of emotional changes. Here are some ways to…

Unusual Symptoms of SPMS

Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is a stage of multiple sclerosis (MS) that follows relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Not all RRMS patients will progress to SPMS, but those who do usually do so around 15 years into their disease. Neurological examinations are necessary to confirm a transition to…

CBD and Multiple Sclerosis: What You Need to Know

Topics related to the use and effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana are of increasing interest to many people, including those with multiple sclerosis (MS). A web-based survey hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, with results published in 2017, indicated that as many as…

Is SPMS Going to Affect My Life Expectancy?

Receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive neurological disorder, can be frightening. One of the first things patients ask is — what does this mean for me? Will my life expectancy drop with this diagnosis? What is life expectancy? Life expectancy is a “best guess” of…

SPMS and Diet: What Foods Can Help?

Many treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) are targeted at reducing inflammation, thereby slowing progression of the autoimmune disease. An anti-inflammatory diet also may slow disease progression, as well as enhance the positive effects of anti-inflammatory medications. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the protein coat that surrounds nerve fibers. That coating protects the nerves and facilitates the propagation of nervous signals. Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is the second stage of MS, which follows relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Appropriate exercise and healthy eating habits are important for all people with MS. What is an anti-inflammatory diet? An anti-inflammatory diet is a plan for healthy eating that does not contain foods that are high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates — found in white bread — sugary desserts, soda, and red meat. Foods that are part of an anti-inflammatory diet include tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, fatty fish — including salmon, tuna, and sardines — and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. How can an anti-inflammatory diet help me? It has been proposed that an anti-inflammatory diet may be able to help slow disease progression in autoimmune disorders. Clinical trials are underway to test this hypothesis in patients with different types of MS. Although several studies have been conducted, it is difficult for many reasons to draw broad conclusions as to the benefits of diet. For example, many studies have not included good controls and have relied on patient-reported information. What has been shown, however, is that diets with inflammatory potential may be involved in the physiological processes associated with neurodegenerative diseases. How should I start an anti-inflammatory diet? Before making any big changes, it's always a good idea to talk to your physician and a registered dietitian. They can help you figure out foods to include and avoid, while making sure you are getting the nutrition and vitamins you need.

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