November 06, 2010

MS Education

Snapshots In My Time...Of My Time.....Hauntings.

Multiple Sclerosis was something I knew very little about when I was in college. I was a member of a fraternity...Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Long ago they used to have little sisters called the Little Sisters of Minerva. I was a little sister of that fraternity for all four years that I was in college. There was a girl who was also a member who had MS. It has been so long that I do not recall her name. I just remember what she looked like. She was thin and a pretty brunette. She would be out of college for awhile and then back in and she told us vaguely that she had had a flareup of her MS. I did not want to ask her what it meant and at that time did not think of looking it up myself.

One day when she and I were alone talking in the fraternity house I asked how she was feeling and how the MS affected her when she was out. She said it was pretty random, at least for her and that it could affect her in any part of her body. She said it had recently affected her legs and she could hardly walk and in the past it had affected her eyes and she could not see. I was still mystified by it.

As an adult I am glad to know I have educated myself a little better now and hopefully the information here will help others(me included). MS affectes about 4% of the worlds' population and worldwide 2.5 million people have the disease. What I learned at the link in this entry is that it seems to affect people who live furthur away from the equator. The furthur away the more likely to get the disease. How? Vitamin D of the lack of it. People who live furthur away from the equator has less vitamin D in their bodies. It is a disease of the central nervous system so ultimately if will affect functioning.

MS treatment means really just managing the symptoms. They can range from depression, tremors and pain to sexual, bowel and vision disfucntion. After reading up on each symptom, they need to be treated individually in order to reduce that symptom. Excersize though, was and still is being debated. Some say it can increase weakness and others say it can help if done under the correct supervision. Ultimately the person being affected by the disease will need to develop some coping skills to deal with their change in family position, health and work abilities.

Ms Diet is something that also needs to be considered in an attempt to reduce syptoms. It has been shown that antioxidants, vitamins C and E, selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamin B12 are good for peopl e with MS. Vitamin D is also very important and should be given to children and youth to prevent the illness later on in life. After reviewing this it does go right back to the things we eat. We need to be preventative and treat out bodies like a temple in order to ward off illnesses. We never know what is going to happen but if we eat right, exercise and do things that are preventative, it goes a long way to keeping us well and healthy. This makes me think back to something my mother always used to apple a day keeps the doctor away. She was trying to tell us as kids we needed to eat healthy.

Right now there is no cure for MS but research is being done. Breakthroughs are being made and there is hope for patients with MS that include better quality of lifestyle and reduction of symptoms. For even more information anyone can contact the National MS Society to find out how to get involved or even donate.


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