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Treatment of Multiple sclerosis

Homeopathic Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease in which myelin sheaths around axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to loss of myelin and scarring. Damage to myelin causes interference in the communication between your brain, spinal cord and other areas of your body. This condition may result in deterioration of the nerves themselves, a process that's not reversible.

No one knows what causes MS. It is an autoimmune disease, which happens when your body attacks itself. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men. It often begins between the ages of 20 and 40.

Symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and the nerves that are affected. People with severe cases of multiple sclerosis may lose the ability to walk or speak clearly. Multiple sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose early in the course of the disease because symptoms often come and go — sometimes disappearing for months.

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis:

The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. It's believed to be an autoimmune disease, in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. In multiple sclerosis, this process destroys myelin — the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.

Myelin can be compared to the insulation on electrical wires. When myelin is damaged, the messages that travel along that nerve may be slowed or blocked.

Genetic factors:

MS is not defined as a genetic condition because there is no single gene that causes it. It's not directly inherited, although research has shown people who are related to someone with MS are more likely to develop it.

Sunlight and vitamin D:

Research into MS around the world has shown that it's more likely to occur in countries far from the equator. It’s possible that people living further from the equator are exposed to less sunlight and, therefore, have less vitamin D in their bodies. Some studies have found a link between lower levels of vitamin D and incidence of MS.

Viral infection:

Another theory is that MS may be the result of viral infection of the nervous system and /or the immune system.

The idea is that the virus lies dormant for many years and then periodically‘re-awakens’, triggering an autoimmune response against the nervous system.

Problems with blood flow:

The idea is that some people may have narrowing of veins inside their brain and spinal cord and the blood supply from the brain and spine has trouble returning to the heart (known as cerebrospinal venous insufficiency).

This could lead to a build-up of tiny iron deposits inside nerve tissue, which may damage the nerves and /or trigger an immune response.

Some studies have found higher-than-expected levels of cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in people with MS, but others have not.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis:

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary, depending on the location of affected nerve fibers. Multiple sclerosis symptoms may include:

  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
  • Muscle weakness
  • Partial or complete loss of central vision, usually in one eye, often with pain during eye movement (optic neuritis)
  • Double vision or blurring of vision
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
  • Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
  • Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble with coordination and balance
  • Sensations such as numbness, prickling, or "pins and needles"
  • Thinking and memory problems
  • Heat sensitivity is common in people with multiple sclerosis. Small increases in body temperature can trigger or worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms.
  • Most people with multiple sclerosis, particularly in the beginning stages of the disease, experience relapses of symptoms, which are followed by periods of complete or partial remission of symptoms.
  • Some people have a benign form of multiple sclerosis. In this form of the disease, the condition remains stable and often doesn't progress to serious forms of MS after the initial attack.

 

Types of Multiple Sclerosis:

There are four types of MS:

  • Relapsing-remitting MS is the most common form of MS, affecting 85% of people with the condition. This type of MS is associated with "flare-ups" where symptoms worsen for weeks or month, and with remissions where symptoms completely or partially improve.
  • Primary-progressive MS affects 10% of people with MS and is associated with slow, but mostly continuous, worsening of the disease from the time of onset.
  • Secondary-progressive MS is associated with an initial period of relapsing-remitting disease followed by steady worsening and minor remissions. Approximately 50% of people with relapsing-remitting MS will develop this form of MS within 10 years.
  • Progressive-relapsing MS is associated with a steady worsening of the disease along with occasional flare-ups. This type is relatively rare and seen in only 5% of MS cases.

Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis:

  • Blood tests

Analysis of your blood can help rule out some infectious or inflammatory diseases that have symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis.

  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)

In this procedure, a doctor or nurse inserts a needle into your lower back to remove a small amount of spinal fluid for laboratory analysis. Doctors test the fluid for abnormalities associated with multiple sclerosis, such as abnormal levels of white blood cells or proteins.

This procedure also can help rule out viral infections and other conditions that can cause neurological symptoms similar to those of multiple sclerosis.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of your brain, spinal cord and other areas of your body. An MRI can reveal lesions, which may appear due to myelin loss in your brain and spinal cord. However, these types of lesions also can be caused by rare conditions, such as lupus, or even common conditions such as migraine and diabetes. The presence of these lesions isn't definitive proof that you have multiple sclerosis.

Doctors may inject a dye into a blood vessel that may help highlight "active" lesions. This helps doctors know whether your disease is in an active phase, even if no symptoms are present.

  • Evoked potential test

This test measures electrical signals sent by your brain in response to stimuli. An evoked potential test may use visual stimuli or electrical stimuli in which short electrical impulses are applied to your legs or arms. This test can help detect lesions or nerve damage in your optic nerves, brainstem or spinal cord even when you don't have any symptoms of nerve damage.

 

Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis:

There is no cure for MS, however, there are many treatments that can relieve symptoms and relapses and which may slow the progression of the condition.

If you have benign MS, or your symptoms are mild, you may not need treatment unless you experience a relapse.

Treatment for MS can be split into three main categories:

Treatment for relapses of MS symptoms (steroids)

Whenever you experience a relapse of your MS symptoms, see your Doctor. A recurrence of your symptoms could be due to a secondary cause, such as an infection, so doctor must identify what's causing the relapse before they treat it.

If your symptoms are due to a relapse, you may be given a three to five-day course of a high-dose steroid, called methylprednisolone, to help speed up your recovery. This can be given either orally as tablets, or intravenously (injected into a vein). You may receive the treatment in hospital or at home.

It's not fully understood how steroids speed up your recovery from a relapse, but they are thought to suppress your immune system so that it no longer attacks the myelin in your central nervous system. They may also help reduce the amount of fluid around any nerve fibre damage.

While steroids can be useful in helping you recover from a relapse.Do not take more than three courses of treatment in a year.

 

Treatment for specific MS symptoms:

If you have MS, you may have several different symptoms, which can vary in severity. There are treatments that can relieve each specific symptom, although some symptoms are more easily treated than others.

Visual problems:

If your visual problems are mild – such as having trouble reading – see your optician for an eye test. The problem may not be due to MS. However, if your visual problems are more severe or you have difficulty focusing (nystagmus), you may be prescribed medication called gabapentin.

Muscle spasms and spasticity:

  • Muscle spasms and spasticity can be improved with physiotherapy. Stretching movements can help prevent spasticity (stiffness). You may be referred to a physiotherapist trained in MS treatment if muscle spasms and spasticity are restricting your movements.
  • ·
  • If your muscular spasms are more severe, you may be prescribed a medicine that can relax your muscles and reduce spasms. This will usually be either baclofen or gabapentin, although there are alternative medicines, such as tizanidine, diazepam, clonazepam and dantrolene.

 

  • In rare cases, medicines may not be enough to control muscle spasms and spasticity. If this is the case, you may be referred for specialist treatment. This may involve wearing special splints or weights on your legs, or having medication injected into the fluid surrounding your spinal cord.

 

Neuropathic pain:

Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to your nerves and is usually sharp and stabbing. It can also occur as extreme skin sensitivity, or a burning sensation. This type of pain can be treated using the medicines gabapentin or carbamazepine, or with an antidepressant called amitriptyline.

Musculoskeletal pain:

You will probably have musculoskeletal pain if you have muscle spasms and spasticity, as it is caused by excess pressure and stiffness in your joints.A physiotherapist may be able to help with musculoskeletal pain by suggesting exercise techniques or better seating positions. If your pain is more severe, you may be prescribed painkillers (analgesics) or antidepressants (which can also help with pain). Alternatively, you may have a procedure that stimulates your nerve endings, known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

Mobility problems:

As with musculoskeletal pain, mobility problems are usually the result of muscle spasms and spasticity or muscle weakness. Your joints may tighten, making it hard to move around.

If you have mobility problems, it's best to try to prevent muscle spasms and spasticity in the first place with physiotherapy or medication (see above). Your muscles can tighten to the point where it's painful and difficult to move at all, which is known as a contracture.

Muscle weakness can be helped by strengthening exercises or learning to compensate for weakness by using other muscles.There are medicines, exercises and equipment that can relieve a tremor (ataxia) or dizziness caused by MS. These are available from your neurological rehabilitation team.

Cognitive problems (difficulty with thought, memory and speech):

You should be referred to a clinical psychologist, who will assess your problems and suggest ways to manage them. You may receive treatment from a speech therapist if necessary.

Emotional problems:

If you experience emotional outbursts, such as laughing or crying for no apparent reason, you should be assessed by a healthcare professional trained in MS symptoms. This could be a clinical psychologist. They may suggest treatment with an antidepressant. If you do not want antidepressants, learning techniques to control your emotions can help.

Clinical psychologists can help you with depression by using psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). If you have severe or persistent depression, you may be referred to a psychiatrist for further advice.

Fatigue and tiredness:

Many people with MS experience extreme tiredness. Your GP or MS specialist nurse should assess this to see if there's another reason for your fatigue other than MS, such as medication or poor diet.You should also be given general advice on ways to prevent fatigue, such as exercise and energy-saving techniques.

Bladder problems:

If you have an overactive bladder, you may be prescribed an anti-cholinergic medicine, such as oxybutynin or tolterodine. This will help make the need to pass urine more predictable. The need to pass urine frequently at night can be treated with a medicine called desmopressin.

If you have an underactive bladder which is not emptying properly, you may undertake intermittent catheterization or be fitted with a catheter. This is a small tube inserted into your urinary opening that drains away any excess urine.

Bowel problems:

It may be possible to treat mild to moderate constipation by changing your diet or taking laxatives.

More severe constipation may need to be treated with suppositories, which are inserted into your rectum, or an enema. An enema involves having a liquid medication rinsed through your rectum and colon, which softens and flushes out your stools.

Bowel incontinence can be treated with anti-diarrhoea medication or by doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your rectal muscles.

Treatment to slow the progression of MS (disease-modifying medicines):

MS cannot be cured, but there are treatments that can reduce the number and severity of relapses. These treatments may also help slow the progression of MS.

Disease-modifying medicines:

These treatments are injected into your muscle or under your skin. They can only be prescribed by a neurologist who is part of a specialist neurological rehabilitation team. Your MS specialist nurse can help you with the injections until you're ready to carry them out yourself.

Disease-modifying medicines reduce the amount of damage and scarring to the myelin in your central nervous system, which cause MS relapses.

Disease-modifying medicines are not suitable for everyone with MS. They are only prescribed to patients with relapse remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) who meet certain criteria.

Homeopathic Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis:

Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. Multiple sclerosis is a constitutional disorder and calls for an in-depth constitutional approach towards its management. Homeopathy, too, is based on the constitutional approach. Homeopathy medicines are prescribed after taking into account the presenting complaints along with physical, emotional and genetic makeup that individualizes a person. Homeopathy medicines being deep-acting assist in bringing back deviations of immunity to normalcy.

Early intervention with Homeopathy can assist in preventing further progress and hence deterioration caused by Multiple Sclerosis. Homeopathic remedies can help lessen fatigue, increase energy, warm up cold extremities, regain function, motor skills and detoxify the body. Homeopathic treatment combats Multiple Sclerosis, to cease new crises and control future relapses. The various expressions of this disease can be managed effectively, safely and gently with homeopathic remedies.