What is Multiple Sclerosis?

27b889827d7b041c766fd1b5e7ba47faWhat is Multiple Sclerosis?

March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable neurological condition that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.  The body’s immune system attacks the protective myelin sheaths that cover the nerve fibers which cause areas of scarring, known as sclerosis. The immune system also attacks and destroys the fatty myelin coating that surrounds and insulates nerve cells which is a process 348sknown as demyelination.

Experts suggest there being 250,000-350,000 people in the United States currently living with this illness. There is an indication the rate of the disease is increasing regularly in the 20th century with approximately 200 new cases each week. Those of Northern European descent have a higher risk for the disease, but Native Americans of North and South America and Asian Americans are at a lower risk. The disease is much more common in colder climates.

There are four types of Multiple Sclerosis, all having different characteristics.

  1. Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). This is the most common form, RRMSbeing that 85% of those with MS are initially diagnosed with. Patients with this form will have relapses and periods of stability in between the relapses. Relapses are the episodes when new or worsening symptoms that are not caused by fever or infection appear. These episodes typically lase more than 48-hours. Between relapses are periods of remission where there is no clinical evidence of disease progression. Periods of remission can last for years, but this can range from person to person.
  2. Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) can basically be considered the SPMSsecond phase of the disease. Most people that are initially diagnosed with RRMS will transition to this form at some point. Symptoms with SPMS will worsen steadily over time with or without occurrences of relapses or remission. There may or may not be times of relapses caused by inflammation, but will continue towards the progressive phase indicating nerve damage or loss. With this form of MS, the disability only continues to get worse.
  3. Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) is less common than the ms_disease-course_PPMSother forms and only affects 10-15% of those with MS. On average people with PPMS start having symptoms between 35-39 years old. There is a slowly worsening of symptoms from the beginning with no relapses or remissions. With this type of MS there can be times of short-term, but temporary, minor improvements, however the decline of neurologic progression is constant. Symptoms of PPMS include pain, electric-shock-sensation running down the back and limbs when the neck is bent, trouble walking, vision problems, muscle weakness, trouble balancing, paralysis, numbness, prickling feeling, dizziness, shakiness, trouble thinking clearly, mood changes, depression, sexual problems, and trouble with bowel and bladder control.
  4. Progressive-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (PRMS) is a rare form of MS. There will PRMSbe a steadily worsening of the state of the disease from the beginning with acute relapses, but no remission will occur. The symptoms of this form are the same as those with PPMS.

The first neurologic event suggesting MS is known as Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS), which usually lasts at least 24-hours. The symptoms will indicate a single lesion (Monofocal) or more than one lesion (Multi-focal) in the central nervous system (CNS). There are many symptoms involved with Multiple Sclerosis some being common and others being less common.

Common Symptoms Associated with Multiple Sclerosis86665331_3276961818997285_6990907139438936064_n

  • Fatigue (Mental and Physical)
  • Pain
  • Tingling or burning sensation in the arms, legs, trunk of body or face
  • Vision issues (blurred or loss of vision)
  • Stiff muscles
  • Attention and memory issues
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and clumsiness
  • Trouble walking

Less Common Symptoms Associated with Multiple Sclerosis

  • Migraines
  • Speech problems
  • Body tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Itching for no reason
  • Mood changes such as depression or euphoria
  • Ability to concentrate or multi-task effectively
  • Difficulty making decisions, planning or prioritizing

Secondary Symptoms that can develop

  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sexual health issues

ms awareness marchWith all the possible symptoms one can experience, there are ways to manage most of them. Bladder control can be something one can experience and this can be rather embarrassing if it happens out in public, but there some suggested strategies to manage this.

  • Drink enough fluids. The kidneys need at least 2 liters of water daily in order to flush waste products. Do not try rationing intake because this could increase the risk of infection.
  • Time your drinks. Try to spread fluid intake evenly throughout the day.
  • Limited caffeine and alcohol intake. Both of these can increase the amount of MS Painurination.
  • Special exercises such as exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor.
  • Continence aids such as disposable pad can be beneficial.
  • Medication can be provided to reduce the urgency to urinate and help the bladder empty itself.

Pain with MS can be primarily due to the neurologic condition. Pain could also be due to secondary conditions, such as musculoskeletal issues as a result of altered posture or spasticity. The weakening of leg muscles tends to trigger aches and pain in the back or knees. The unfortunate truth is, people with Multiple Sclerosis can feel pain anywhere, but there are ways to help manage the pain which includes medication, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques.27b889827d7b041c766fd1b5e7ba47fa

Every person that lives with Multiple Sclerosis is different and deals with this illness in a way that serves them best. A person can experience similar issues as another but at the end of the day, we all handle it differently. Each symptom, relapse, remission, and medication affects each person vastly different but yet can understand what another person is going through. It is vital that no matter what stage the illness is, there needs to be an understanding of what our limitations are and to never push beyond that.

Thank you for visiting my site laughtoday! I hope the information I provided to you was helpful. There is a chance I have stated the same thing in previous years, but I do feel it is important for us to spread as much awareness as we can because it does not seem like this illness is going away anytime soon. I do want to believe that someday in our life time there will be a cure, but until then we must continue to live our lives the best we can. I hope you are having  a great day and feeling the best you can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes! 

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

P.S I will be doing additional posts about MS during the month, but felt they needed to be separate posts because there is SO much information available. The crazy thing is, no matter how many years I have lived with MS, reading about it is a little upsetting.  

 

 

 

What you need to know about dizziness!

Dizziness medical concept. Vector illustration.How many of you have experienced dizziness before? I have honestly been dealing with this for many years and know just how difficult it can be. It used to be difficult to explain to others because I didn’t completely understand why it was happening, so I didn’t feel I had a right to try explaining it. When I experience dizziness today, the best and most effective way to help someone understand is, to say it feels like I am trying to walk a straight line intoxicated and it isn’t working.

Over the past few days, I to have had these dizziness times more frequently. I am not sure if stop-dizziness-conceptual-illustration-open-hand-text-163893555it is stress, over-tired, the weather changing or all three of them combined. What I can say is it has been extremely frustrating and I just want it to STOP!

I think many people confuse dizziness and vertigo, whereas they are similar they are different at the same time. Dizziness is not simply a disease on its own, but a symptom of a disease. Dizziness is a feeling of being lightheaded, woozy and or unbalanced. These issues affect sensory organs, such as ears and eyes and can cause fainting. There are many causes for dizziness, which include dehydration, migraines, medications, alcohol or problem in the inner ear where balance is regulated.

download (5)Vertigo and disequilibrium both cause dizziness, but they have their differences. Vertigo is known as a spinning sensation and disequilibrium is the loss of balance. Beign Paroxymsmal Postional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo. BPPV occurs when changing positions too fast and is short-term dizziness.

Meniere’s Disease is a disease that affects the inner ear. This can cause fluid to build up in the inner ear with associated ear fullness, hearing loss, and tinnitus. This disease can trigger dizziness and vertigo.

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF DIZZINESS ARE:

  • A sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Heart muscle disease
  • The decrease in blood volume
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Anemia ( low iron)dizziness-about.jpg
  • Hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar)
  • Ear infection
  • Dehydration
  • Heatstroke
  • Excessive exercising
  • Motion Sickness
  • Dizziness can also be caused by Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, malignant tumor or another brain disorder.

types-of-dizziness-hh19DIZZINESS CAN BE FELT IN A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT SENSATIONS INCLUDING:

  • A false sense of spinning
  • Lightheartedness or feeling faint
  • Unsteadiness
  • Loss of balance
  • Feeling like you are floating or swimming

If sudden dizziness occurs alongside any of the following, it becomes a lot more URGENT to notify your doctor IMMEDIATELY:dizziness looks like

  • Head injury
  • Headache
  • Neck ache
  • High fever
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hearing loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Droopiness of the eye or mouth
  • Chest Pain
  • Ongoing vomiting

feat-how-to-get-rid-of-dizziness12 STEPS TO HELP PREVENT DIZZINESS

  1. IMMEDIATELY sit or lie down when feeling dizzy and do not get up until the dizziness has stopped. This is easy and could save you from falling because of losing balance.
  2. Utilize a cane or walker to help you with stability.
  3. When walking up or down theavoid-vertical-trip-fall-sign-s-4394 stairs, ALWAYS use the HANDRAILS! Personally, this has helped me many times when I felt a little dizzy halfway down the stairs and knew I would not make it without falling if I wasn’t holding onto something. So handrails can be your best friend that will never let you fall!
  4. Try doing activities to help improve balance.
  5. Do your best to AVOID moving or changing positions suddenly.
  6. If you experience frequent dizziness without any warnings, it might be best to AVOID driving a car.
  7. Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can trigger dizziness and possibly even make things worse, so try AVOIDING these substances!
  8. At a minimum try drinking 8 cups of water daily, get 7 or more hours of sleep a night and AVOID stressful situations the best you can.
  9. Eat a HEALTHY diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to help prevent emergencycaredizziness.
  10. If you feel a certain medication is contributing to your dizziness, talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or the medication altogether. REMEMBER, you know your body better than anyone else and should be heard by your doctor.
  11. Over the counter medications, such as Meclizine (Antivert) or an antihistamine as they both help with nausea and dizziness. These medications can cause additional drowsiness, so be sure you will not have to be active or productive after consuming these medications.
  12. Ensure to rest in a cool place and drink plenty of water if your dizziness is caused by being overheated and or dehydrated.

6 REMEDIES THAT MAY HELP WITH DIZZINESS

  1. Dehydration: Of course various things that can cause dizziness, but we need to 82a2e997ed79b4c2f819093416cbb364understand that dehydration is the most common contributor. If you are feeling tired, thirsty and urinate less while you are dizzy, you should try to drink more water and stay hydrated because it should help you!
  2. Ginger: It has been said that ginger helps relieve symptoms of motion sickness, nausea, and dizziness. There are numerous ways to consume ginger including adding to your diet, Ginger Tea or you can take ginger supplements.
  3. Vitamin C: The Meniere’s Society has suggested the consumption of Vitamin C can a1fe476a2524caab5984b0763be3bd66reduce vertigo. Just a few ideas for you regarding foods that are rich in Vitamin C: oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and bell peppers.
  4. Vitamin E: The supplements for Vitamin E may prevent coronary heart disease, support immune function, prevent inflammation, promote eye health and lower risks of cancer. Another important thing about Vitamin E is, by maintaining the elasticity in the blood vessels, it helps prevent circulation problems. A few foods that contain Vitamin D are wheat germ, seeds, nuts, kiwis and spinach.
  5. Vitamin D: I think it is pretty amazing how much Vitamin D helps us. It promotes healthy bones and teeth, supports immune, brain and nervous system health, regulates insulin levels, and supports lung function and cardiovascular health. Some foods that contain Vitamin D are fatty fish, beef liver, orange juice, cheese, and egg yolk.
  6. Iron: People that have anemia are encouraged to get more iron because their levels change. A few foods that contain iron are red meat, beans, poultry, and dark leafy greens.

I know this post is slightly longer than I normally do, especially now that I am back vertigoworking full-time, but this was important to me because of the insane dizzy spells I have been dealing with for the past few days. I would be lying to you if I said they didn’t scare the hell out of me because they do! On a plus side though, at least I haven’t fallen because my last fall was disastrous.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you are feeling well. I also really want to thank you for taking time to not only read this long post, but to also leave great comments. The weekend definitely flew by fast, but I guess that is just how life goes! No pressures to answer this question, but do any of you deal with dizzy spells and if so how to you manage them? Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤