MS symptoms are unpredictable and variable. No two patients have the same symptoms, and therefore each patient s symptom can vary over time. One patient may experience just a few of the potential symptoms while another patient experiences numerous more. For this reason, it is difficult to accurately diagnose MS. Most physicians try to treat symptoms and not causes.
The first signs of MS typically manifest themselves in the majority of patients at the onset of MS. The first signs of MS typically include persistent numbness or tingling in the fingers, hands, feet or legs. Sometimes, the first symptoms of MS can last for months and even years. The majority of people with MS experience first symptoms during mornings, right before they wake up. Typically, MS symptoms only last from 10 minutes to half an hour.
Patients may also experience muscle stiffness or spasticity in the muscles of the legs. Spasticity is defined as any abnormal tightness or looseness. Some common symptoms of spasticity include muscle weakness or stiffness, difficulty walking and sitting, swelling or puffiness, and a tendency to rest on one side than the other. Another common sign of MS is a loss of bladder or bowel control, which can result in incontinence. However, some individuals with MS may experience no symptoms at all.
MS symptoms often develop slowly over a period of years. This means that they may develop gradually and remain undetected. MS typically attacks the central nervous system, which affects the functions of the rest of the body. With multiple sclerosis, MS symptoms often include problems with vision, speech, swallowing, and gait. In addition, many individuals with MS experience short-term memory loss and short-term amnesia.
The typical course of action for treating MS involves ongoing medication, therapy, and sometimes, a combination of these treatments. However, because MS progresses in a predictable way, it is possible to slow the progression of the disease. This is done by preventing or slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis symptoms. The goal of treatment is to help reduce the number of relapses that occur, stop the development of new lesions in the brain, and eventually help patients function normally.
As with any chronic disease, there are many treatments often used to treat MS symptoms. In most cases, these medications are taken in conjunction with lifestyle and dietary changes. A patient's doctor will determine which medications are appropriate for their specific type of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Common treatments used in the management of MS symptoms include:
The majority of MS treatments are administered through the use of multiple sclerosis drugs, many of which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Commonly used drugs include interferon, glatiramer acetate, mitoxantrone, mycophenolate, glatiramer acetate, glatiramer acetyl, miotics, tryptophan, sulfasalazine, cisplatin, etc. Often these medications only manage to lessen the symptoms of MS. In more severe cases, these treatments can actually result in a loss of mobility, paralysis, and other serious side effects.
MS treatments often worsen or may cause additional problems for patients if they are taken in conjunction with other medications. MS patients must avoid using multiple medications together, especially those that contain ingredients known to cause adverse reactions. These include herbal remedies (i.e., vitamins), alcohol, lithium, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, sedatives, barbiturates, antidepressants, and beta blockers. While these medications may help alleviate some of MS symptoms, they may also make the disease worse or have other side effects that increase the difficulty of managing MS.
MS treatments may include both pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals. For example, the common painkiller acetaminophen may relieve MS symptoms by reducing inflammation, but it may also lead to further complications, such as headaches and stomach pain. Non-pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, can alleviate some of MS symptoms by reducing the production of the protein choline in the brain and spinal cord. Some of these non-pharmaceuticals, such as sulfasalazine, are available without a prescription, but they generally carry high doses of the medication, may produce unpleasant side effects, and may be habit forming. These side effects may make it difficult or impossible for MS sufferers to take their medications on a regular basis.
Medications for relapsing-remitting MS typically focus on reducing MRI markers of inflammation and enhancing nerve integrity. While these drugs can improve the quality of life in many MS sufferers, relapsing-remitting MS is still a long way off from being classified as "curable". Some researchers are currently trying to target the brain's pathways and specifically the chemicals and enzymes that are believed to be involved in the development of MS. By learning more about the brain, they hope to find new ways to treat this frustrating disorder.
MS treatment may also include the use of non-pharmaceuticals, such as physical therapy, nutritional supplements, and targeted therapies. Physical therapy can help to manage symptoms of MS through a series of gentle exercises that can strengthen muscles, control muscle spasticity, and decrease inflammation. Nutritional supplements may help to provide patients with additional nutrients that may help reduce muscle spasticity and improve overall health. Therapeutic modalities such as deep-tissue massages and other "enteric massage" techniques can also be used to help ease relapses. These methods may help to significantly reduce MS symptoms in addition to improving the patient's quality of life.
Oren Zarif - Psychokinesis