With M.S., immune cells attack myelin--the fatty tissue that insulates the nerve fibers. The myelin, damaged from the abnormal attack, forms scar tissue, or sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is named as such because the myelin is attacked over again, creating multiple formations of scar tissue around the nerve fibers. Though the cause of M.S. is unknown, scientists have reason to believe that environmental factors are what trigger M.S. in genetically predisposed persons.
Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis?
M.S. is difficult to diagnose. Currently, epidemiologists are studying a variety of factors that could eventually determine the direct cause of M.S., but for now, they are all plausible culprits. People are most likely to be diagnosed with M.S. in their late 20’s to mid 30’s. However, M.S. can occur in young children and older adults as well. Cases of M.S. have been found in most ethnic groups, but the highest prevalence of M.S. occurs with Caucasians of northern European descent. As with other autoimmune diseases, M.S. is diagnosed more than two times as often in women as it is in men.
A person that has a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with M.S. has a much higher risk of developing M.S themselves. In the United States, an average person has about a .1% chance of developing M.S., whereas a person with a first-degree relative with M.S. has a 2.5-5% chance of developing M.S. This genetic predisposition is a common factor in most autoimmune diseases including Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.
What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?
According to various epidemiologic studies, M.S. is more prevalent in areas far from the equator. Some scientists have theorized that the higher risk for M.S. is caused by decreased exposure to sunlight in northern areas. With less sunlight, there is a decreased production of vitamin D-- a vitamin that is thought to play a vital role in immune system function.
Infectious microbes are yet another possible “trigger” for M.S. Various viruses have been investigated to determine whether they are possibly the cause or at least one of the causes of M.S., but there is no definitive evidence that can narrow it down to just one factor.
There is growing evidence that smoking increases one’s chance of developing M.S. Likewise, evidence also goes to show that one who stops smoking will develop the debilitating effects of M.S. at a slower rate.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases are notorious for their wide scope of symptoms. While one person can experience only a few to a varying degree, another can experience a multitude of symptoms on and off. Every case of M.S. is different, and not everyone will exhibit the following symptoms. However, these are the most common among M.S. patients:
- chronic fatigue
- numbness or tingling sensation in hands or feet (often a first symptom)
- muscle weakness,
- difficulties walking or maintaining balance
- muscle spasms
- blurry vision or eye pain (often a first symptom)
Other symptoms of M.S. that are less common include: speech problems, tremors, headaches, breathing problems, impaired hearing, and seizures. If you have experienced any combination of these symptoms continuously or on an “on and off” basis, you should see a qualified doctor to rule out this autoimmune disease.
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, a thorough diagnosis is essential to finding the most effective treatment for you. Using precise diagnostic procedures, we will differentiate your symptoms and identify the cause of your chronic illness so we can give you the most effective holistic treatment available.
Seeking Help for Multiple Sclerosis
Considered to be a top autoimmune disease clinic in the state of Florida, LifeWorks Wellness Center has successfully treated patients from all over the country. If you are in search of an effective treatment that will treat your autoimmune disease holistically, we can help. Our individualized treatments are tailored to your specific needs so that each underlying cause is addressed to improve the integrity of the immune system as a whole.
Meeting with an AutoImmune Disease Specialist
If you have experienced chronic symptoms of any kind and suspect an autoimmune disease, LifeWorks Wellness Center can give you the proper diagnosis so you can begin your individually tailored treatment immediately. We have helped many patients who suffer chronic illness find relief, and we are dedicated to helping you find relief as well. Moreover, we are determined to restore your health holistically, treating the root cause of your illness while also helping to ease your symptoms.
To schedule an appointment with an autoimmune disease specialist or for more information about our services, please call our New Patient Coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or feel free to submit an online web form with your request.
*Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.