Women are up to 3 times more likely than men to develop Multiple Sclerosis (MS), according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. As cases increase worldwide, it’s important to know how MS could affect your life.

MS is an autoimmune condition that involves the central nervous system. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks a fatty substance called myelin that covers your nerves. This disrupts communications between your brain and body.

The symptoms can affect any part of your body and vary widely for each individual. About 85% of patients have the relapsing-remitting form of MS where you may enjoy periods with little to no symptoms.

While there is no known cure, treatment options have expanded in recent years. Take a look at this quick guide to MS and how to live with it more comfortably.

Understanding MS:

  1. Consider the causes. There are many theories about what causes MS. It may be related to genetics, viral infections, and vitamin D or nutritional deficiencies. Smoking and excess weight can also increase your risk. For certain situations, knowing the underlying cause(s) may be useful as addressing them may help reduce the symptoms.
  2. Know the general symptoms. Most symptoms are similar for men and women. That includes muscle spasms, fatigue, difficulty walking, blurred vision, and memory loss.
  3. Possible cause of symptoms in women. The reason why women are more prone to MS may be due to hormonal differences and having more body fat. Symptoms may intensify during menstruation, menopause, and after giving birth.

Treating MS:

  1. Get tested. MS is usually diagnosed by a combination of methods. Your doctor will probably order several tests and analyze your cerebrospinal fluid for the presence of certain proteins.
  2. Take medication. Drugs can be very effective for managing MS. Some of the most common medications include beta interferons to decrease the frequency and severity of attacks and other drugs to relieve specific symptoms such as muscle spasms or anxiety.
  3. Try physical therapy. Working with physical and occupational therapists can help. They can show you exercises to increase your strength and balance and suggest adaptations to your home and office to enhance your mobility and prevent falls.
  1. The Wahls Protocol. This was designed by Dr Terry Wahls who has MS and was in a wheelchair until she discovered the power of foods and e-stim and lifestyle changes. She bases her therapies around the Paleo diet, amongst other treatment modalities.

Living with MS:

  1. Eat a diet rich in unprocessed, whole and real foods. as healthy eating may provide relief and put your symptoms into remission. See Dr Wahls protocol here as it may help reduce inflammation and keep symptoms under control.
  1. Exercise regularly. Staying as active as your particular condition allows is especially important when you have a chronic condition like MS. On days when you feel tired, try gentle activities like meditation, walking, restorative yoga or just getting some fresh air however you can. You may also enjoy low impact exercises in water.
  2. Quit smoking. Tobacco can trigger MS and aggravate the symptoms. Talk with your doctor if you need help quitting. Limiting alcohol may be beneficial too.
  3. Rest up. About 80% of MS patients experience fatigue that interferes with daily responsibilities. Make sleep a top priority. Your physical and occupational therapists can also help you with energy saving strategies and devices.
  4. Cool off. Excessive heat may make you feel worse. Lower your thermostat at home and sit by a fan if too warm. Don’t forget to drink plenty of filtered water.
  5. Seek support. You may need a family member or a professional to assist you at times when your symptoms are severe. You may also want to speak with a counselor or join a support group with other MS patients so you can share validation and encouragement.

Living with MS can certainly be challenging, but various therapies such as the Wahls Protocol may give you a new lease of life. You may be able to manage your symptoms with appropriate medical care and healthy lifestyle choices.

DNA spilling out of coloured capsule

What Is Functional Medicine?

What Is Functional Medicine Anyway? I like to think of functional medicine as a personalised approach to healthcare that focuses on preventative medicine as well as focusing on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of chronic disease at an individual level. It offers a different viewpoint to that of conventional medicine. We, as functional medicine practitioners, ...
Read More
Autoimmune Thyroiditis Hashimoto's Disease. 3d Illustration Showing Antibodies Attacking Thyroid

Learning to Live with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Learning to Live with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is the leading cause of hypothyroidism. It's responsible for more than 90% of cases. If you've been diagnosed or think you may be at risk, there are medical treatments and lifestyle changes that can help you to manage underactive thyroid symptoms. Hashimoto's hypothyroidism develops when your immune ...
Read More
Image reproductive organ female- menopause

Functional Medicine and Menopause

Menopause Support using Functional Medicine We all experience different transitions in life as we age. The onset of menopause in women is possibly one of the most noticeable of these changes because it can have a variety of effects on us, with some scarcely noting the change and others finding it quite challenging. Here, we ...
Read More
Happy You Year

Happy YOU Year! Leap into the New Year with real resolutions – and make them stick!

Happy YOU Year! How to leap into the New Year with real resolutions - and make them stick! On 1 January across the world, millions of us make lofty promises to ourselves. We'll get healthy, go to gym, drink less wine and eat more greens. We plan to be perfect. By February, most resolutions are ...
Read More
Baked gluten free foods

Three Reasons to Go Easy on Gluten

3 Reasons to Go Easy on Gluten Gluten has been the topic of hot debate by a growing number of healthcare providers. The literature is overflowing with the detrimental impact gluten has on the intestinal wall.   Leaky Gut When you eat gluten, your body produces a molecule called zonulin. The increase in zonulin is linked ...
Read More
Thyroid gland and cholesterol structure

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Cholesterol

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Cholesterol Your body needs thyroid hormones to make cholesterol and to get rid of the cholesterol it doesn't need. When thyroid hormone levels are low (hypothyroidism), your body doesn't break down and remove LDL cholesterol as efficiently as usual. LDL cholesterol can then build up in your blood. Thyroid hormone ...
Read More
Mast cell releasing histamine

Are You Suffering from Histamine Intolerance?

Are You Suffering from Histamine Intolerance? Histamine intolerance occurs when there is a buildup of histamine in the body. Many foods contain high histamine levels, and various health conditions and medications can contribute to an intolerance (See below for a list of common symptoms). Histamine is a chemical that sends messages to the brain, signals ...
Read More
Thyroid symptoms

Top 10 Thyroid Symptoms That You Shouldn’t Ignore

This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD Top 10 Thyroid Symptoms: Thyroid disease affects about 1 in 20 people in the U.K. and up to 20 million people in America, the majority being women. And those are only the ones who have been diagnosed. In reality, many people have symptoms of ...
Read More
Intermittent fasting

8 Intermittent Fasting Benefits

Intermittent Fasting Intermittent Fasting (IF) is currently one of the world's most popular health and fitness trends. Besides assisting with weight loss, IF has many additional health benefits I will share in this article. By definition, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts - or periods of minimal or no food consumption. Intermittent ...
Read More

Leave a Comment