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MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)

What You Need To Know
WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective covering of nerve fibers, called myelin, leading to inflammation and damage. This disruption of the normal functioning of the nervous system can cause a wide range of symptoms.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) involves a thorough medical history, physical examination, neurological assessment, and specific diagnostic tests including MRI, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, evoked potentials, and blood tests. These assessments help evaluate symptoms, identify neurological abnormalities, detect lesions in the central nervous system, and exclude other possible causes of symptoms. The diagnosis is based on established diagnostic criteria such as the McDonald criteria.

ANTIBODIES ASSOCIATED WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS 

These are antibodies that target components of myelin, the protective covering of nerve fibers.

Different types of anti-myelin antibodies, such as anti-myelin basic protein (MBP) antibodies and anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies, have been found in some individuals with MS.

CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT

Conventional treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) aims to manage symptoms, slow down the progression of the disease, and improve the quality of life for individuals with MS.

The specific treatment plan may vary depending on the type of MS, the severity of symptoms, and individual needs. Here are some common conventional treatment approaches for MS:

  • Disease-Modifying Therapies (DMTs): These medications are used to modify the immune system's response and reduce the frequency and severity of relapses in MS. 

  • Corticosteroids: Short-term courses of high-dose corticosteroids, such as intravenous methylprednisolone, may be prescribed to manage acute relapses and reduce inflammation.

  • Symptomatic Treatment: Symptomatic treatments aim to alleviate specific MS symptoms and improve daily functioning. These may include medications for managing fatigue, muscle spasticity, pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, depression, and other associated symptoms.

  • Rehabilitation Therapies: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help individuals with MS improve mobility, strength, coordination, and speech abilities. Rehabilitation programs may also focus on managing spasticity, improving balance, and maintaining overall functionality.

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SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
  • Fatigue: Persistent and overwhelming fatigue is a prevalent symptom in MS.

  • Motor Symptoms: These include muscle weakness, difficulty with coordination and balance, tremors, spasticity (muscle stiffness and involuntary muscle contractions), and problems with walking or mobility.

  • Sensory Symptoms: Such as numbness or tingling in the limbs or other parts of the body. Some individuals may experience a loss of sensation or altered sensation, such as a feeling of pins and needles or a burning sensation.

  • Vision Problems: These may include blurred vision, double vision (diplopia), partial loss of vision (optic neuritis), pain with eye movement, or difficulty distinguishing colors.

  • Cognitive Changes: Thse include problems with memory, attention, concentration, information processing, and problem-solving. They may also have slowed thinking or difficulty finding the right words.

  • Emotional and Psychological Changes: MS may lead to depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, and emotional instability.

  • Pain and Discomfort: Such as chronic pain, including neuropathic pain (nerve pain), musculoskeletal pain, or headaches.

  • Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction: Such as urinary urgency, frequency, incontinence, difficulty emptying the bladder, constipation, or bowel incontinence.

  • Sexual Dysfunction: Such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, or difficulties with arousal and orgasm.

  • Heat Sensitivity

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HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

A Functional Medicine Approach to Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Our approach to multiple sclerosis (MS) involves addressing the underlying factors that contribute to the development and progression of the disease. We understand each individual's unique circumstances and addressing the root causes of their symptoms.

Here are some key components of a functional medicine approach to MS:

  • IDENTIFYING TRIGGERS: A thorough evaluation is conducted to identify potential triggers and contributors to MS, such as environmental toxins, infections, gut health imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and chronic inflammation.

  • DIET AND NUTRITION: An anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods is emphasised to support overall health and reduce inflammation. Specific dietary strategies, such as a version of the paleo diet or an autoimmune protocol, may be recommended based on individual needs and sensitivities.

 

  • GUT HEALTH SUPPORT: The health of the gut plays a crucial role in overall immune function. Strategies to support gut health, such as addressing dysbiosis (imbalanced gut flora), healing leaky gut, and optimising digestion and absorption of nutrients, may be employed to promote a healthy immune response.

  • SUPPLEMENTS: Individualised nutritional supplementation may be recommended to address specific nutrient deficiencies commonly seen in individuals with MS.

  • BALANCING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: Strategies to modulate and balance the immune system may be employed. This can involve identifying and addressing immune dysregulation, reducing chronic inflammation, and supporting immune tolerance.​

  • STRESS MANAGEMENT: Chronic stress can worsen symptoms in MS. Stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, relaxation exercises, and stress management strategies, are incorporated to support emotional well-being and symptom management.

  • LIFESTYLE FACTORS: Lifestyle modifications, including regular physical activity, optimising sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing exposure to toxins and environmental triggers, are emphasised to support overall health and well-being.

To take a proactive role in managing your health, we encourage you to reach out to our team. We have extensive experience assisting individuals with complex conditions such as MS.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US TODAY. 

 

 We offer a range of appointments in-person or online. 
You will receive the same service and expertise from us through our virtual, online clinic, just as you would if you visited us at our London clinic.

To discuss how we can assist you, call us on 020 3886 1339, or email us at  hello@autoimmunecliniclondon.com.

 

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