A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or M.S. is one which many people dread because we associate it with slow and progressive deterioration into disability. In fact, only a minority of those with M.S. will suffer its most crippling effects and there is much you can do to stay healthy and lead a normal life in spit of this disease.
M.S. occurs as a result of damage to the nerve fibres of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). This happens when the sheath of fatty tissue or myelin which insulates the nerves is attacked and becomes inflamed. Different people will have different symptoms, depending on which nerves have been damaged. The most common age of diagnosis is late 20’s to mid 30’s.
M.S. symptoms are caused by patches of “demyelination” (scarring) in the central nervous system and, depending on which nerves are scarred, movement, touch and sensation may be affected. M.S. is a very variable condition, but early symptoms often include tingling sensations or numbness which may affect a hand or foot – sometimes described as “walking on cotton wool”.
Other common symptoms are blurred or double vision, weakness or clumsiness of a limb, giddiness or lack of balance, disproportionate fatigue and the need to pass water frequently or urgently. Sometimes these symptoms simply disappear, never to be experienced again, but they may recur and worsen in a series of “attacks” that may end in serious disability.
Researchers have been looking for the causes of M.S. for years. Some claim that a virus causes the inflammation of the myelin sheath, or inherited factors could be to blame. Others claim it to be a weakness of the nervous system which may be caused by stress, shock, infection or toxic metals. Another theory is that M.S. is linked to the effects of excessive radiation from the sun.
There is no conclusive test for M.S. and it often takes time – and a period of anxiety – before it is suggested. Steroid drugs may be given to treat the condition as a whole and these can stabilize symptoms by tackling inflammation. Other drugs are often prescribed to treat individual symptoms, such as muscle relaxants for spasms and analgesic drugs if there is pain. Physiotherapy is also an important technique in the mainstream management of M.S.
Any symptoms that are obviously related to the nervous system, such as double vision, loss of co-ordination, etc, or any persistent problem that does not resolve, may have a neurological basis. Aches and pains, numbness or tingling should be taken to a physician, who may well recommend consultation with a neurological specialist.
Advising on a treatment for M.S. is complicated because the condition can be aggravated by many factors, such as poor nutrition, stress, weak elimination, toxic metals, or weakness in the nervous system. Also, assessing the improvement is not easy as spontaneous remissions are part of the pathology of M.S.
The Hale Clinic approach would first address the nutrition/allergy aspect and recommend colonic irrigation to detoxify the system. This would be followed by homeopathy or Ayurveda combined with marma massage to build up the constitution generally. Marma treatment plays a very important role in the treatment of M.S., by clearing obstructions from the nerve fibres and co-ordinating body and brain. Healing can complement these therapies, helping the patient both physically and mentally, while Bach flowers, aromatherapy, yoga, and T’ai Chi play their part as supportive treatments.