Multiple sclerosis triggers innumerable, diverse symptoms that make the everyday life of those affected a test of endurance. It is the world’s most common neurological disease occurring in young adults. And yet doctors and researchers know relatively little about the causes and relationships of autoimmune disease. You can read here what findings are available on multiple sclerosis and how we at the Saxon State Spas can help MS patients with the natural remedy radon.
A disease that manifests itself in countless clinical pictures and different forms of progression. This is Multiple Sclerosis, abbreviated as MS, which is therefore also known as the disease of 1000 faces. The technical term for this is encephalomyelitis disseminata (ED) - a term which means that there are scattered inflammations in the spinal cord and brain.
According to this, multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system in which the nerve tracts become inflamed and thus trigger a wide variety of symptoms. It occurs for the first time primarily in young adults between the ages of 20 and 40 and is not curable. Important: MS is neither contagious nor necessarily fatal.
About 2.5 million people worldwide suffer from multiple sclerosis. In Germany, around 200,000 people are affected by it. MS is thus the most common neurological disease in young adults. Women suffer from it about twice as often as men. Because there is no cure for the disease, the main aim of multiple sclerosis treatment is to relieve the symptoms and stop or at least slow down the progression of MS.
In terms of symptoms, multiple sclerosis shows its many faces. Symptomatically, there is no typical MS. Some patients only suffer from a few symptoms, some suffer from several at the same time. The different symptoms of the disease can be explained by the damage to nerve tissue that occurs at different places in the brain and spine.
In principle, almost any neurological symptom can occur in multiple sclerosis. The spectrum ranges from sensory disorders of the skin, which patients perceive as tingling or numbness, to abnormal, premature exhaustion, the so-called fatigue. For many of those affected, the latter represents a considerable reduction in their performance and thus also in their quality of life.
Motor disorders and disabilities
Motor disorders such as paralysis, visual disorders and spasticity are also among the symptoms that can lead to severe disabilities as the disease progresses. Bladder dysfunction, gait insecurity and cognitive impairment are also considered signs of MS. Possible multiple sclerosis symptoms are also coordination difficulties and pain.
Memory disorders and psychological changes
Many patients also suffer from memory disorders, psychological changes and sexual disorders as the disease progresses.
There is currently no knowledge of the clear causes of multiple sclerosis. There is widespread agreement that, like type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, it is an autoimmune diseasein which the body’s own immune system triggers an incorrect reaction. This means: The immune system, which normally fights off pathogens like viruses and bacteria, turns against itself in MS.
In case of MS, the body’s own defence cells erroneously attack the insulation of nerve cells called the myelin sheath. The nerve cells are part of the central nervous system where they are responsible for processing information and transmitting stimuli. The nerve tissue is inflamed and damaged by attacks from the body’s own immune system, so that the stimuli are passed on less effectively or not at all. Scars can be found in the nerve tissue of the affected person in multiple places. Depending on the localisation, there are transmission errors which result in the different symptoms.
If one or more such centres of inflammation occur and manifest themselves in physical failures or other symptoms, this is called an episode. This develops within a few days or even hours and then decreases again. The symptoms can also recede again as the episode subsides. If scars remain from the inflammation, this is known as sclerosis of the nerve tissue.
But why does the immune response in MS target the body’s own structures? At this stage, there is no clear evidence of this. Scientists suspect that multiple sclerosis is caused by a multifactorial process in which various factors come together:
- Environmental factors: Because multiple sclerosis occurs particularly frequently in the cool climatic regions, as is the case in central and northern Europe and the USA, environmental influences seem likely. Vitamin D deficiency is considered to be a potential cause of multiple sclerosis in this context.
- Genetic factors: It is assumed that a genetic predisposition is also responsible for the onset of MS.
- Lifestyle: Lifestyle may also play a role in the development of MS. For example, smoking is considered a risk factor for MS.
- Infections: There is also a discussion about the occurrence of certain infections as a cause of multiple sclerosis
Therapy with the natural remedy radon
During the drinking treatment, the radon mineral healing water enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract and thus unfolds its naturally gentle effect. The healing water is drunk regularly over a longer period of time for therapeutic purposes. The duration, amount and time of drinking is determined by the spa doctor. Especially the “Wettinquelle” with approx. 24,000 Bq/l radon is considered the strongest radon spring in the world.
Natural healing water is created by the slow infiltration of rain water through different geological layers of rock. During this process it is cleaned, filtered and enriched with minerals and trace elements. In this enriched deep water, carbon dioxide is released by solidified magma from past volcanic activity. The noble gas radon is formed from the radium contained everywhere in the earth’s crust. The Bad Brambach mineral springs receive their health-promoting radon content from the Fichtelgebirge granite. All sources are strictly checked according to the Medicines Act.
Multiple sclerosis is difficult to diagnose due to the wide range of symptoms and forms of courses associated with the disease. The symptoms can also be indicative of other diseases and are often not immediately diagnosed as MS. In many patients the disease therefore remains undiscovered for a long time. In most cases the finding is a diagnosis of exclusion. A reliable multiple sclerosis diagnosis therefore consists of various examinations:
- various nerve examinations to clarify the functional efficiency of the nerve tracts
- detailed anamnesis
- physical and neurological examination in which mobility, balance, coordination and the individual sensory organs are tested
- blood tests to rule out other causes
- Lumbar puncture: examination of the cerebrospinal fluid to determine whether there is inflammation in the central nervous system
- images of the brain and spine using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to reveal areas of inflammation and scarring
As with the symptoms, multiple sclerosis differs in its individual manifestation in its course, which is why an individual prognosis on the course of the disease is hardly possible. In principle, two forms of course can be distinguished from one another. For the classification of the form of course of the disease it is first of all relevant whether episodes occur in a patient or not.
In most patients, multiple sclerosis develops in the form of episodes. An episode is defined as the occurrence of symptoms that last for at least 24 hours and can last up to several weeks. There are no other causes for the symptoms, such as fever. However, psychological or physical factors can promote an episode, but often there is no trigger at all. The symptoms caused by the episode often subside completely or partially at the beginning of the episode. In the further course of multiple sclerosis, the symptoms often do not recede or only partially, so that disabilities may remain. Months, but also many years can pass between two episodes.
Progressive (progredient) course:
Multiple sclerosis can also occur without episodes. In this case, the neurological dysfunctions increase continuously. Without treatment, an initially episodic course can change into this secondarily progressive form. In addition, individual episodes are also possible. A small proportion of multiple sclerosis patients also show a primarily progressive course without clear episodes. Instead, the symptoms increase gradually from the beginning of the disease and usually do not regress.
Because of the wide variety of manifestations and symptoms, it is difficult to predict how the disease will progress in an individual.
The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is initially a big shock for many people - especially as the disease often first appears in young adulthood. An age when it is better to make plans for the future than to deal with disease. Depending on the individual clinical picture, the symptoms and impairments can lead to restrictions in professional and private life at an early stage. The unpredictability of symptoms and course is an enormous burden for multiple sclerosis patients.
In addition, there is the therapy that helps to control life with multiple sclerosis, often even in times when there is no acute episode of the disease. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, symptomatic treatment is needed, to alleviate them. The course-modifying therapy also influences the everyday life of multiple sclerosis patients.
Uncertainty in MS is usually high. Nevertheless, a self-determined life with multiple sclerosis is possible. It is advisable for patients to remain as active as possible without being overtaxed for long periods of time. Sport often has a positive effect and can reduce side effects. During an episode, it is of course better for patients to avoid it. It has proven to be beneficial for living with multiple sclerosis to focus on existing skills and strengths instead of focusing on the impairments.
If multiple sclerosis causes impairments at an early stage, the choice of career may have to be reconsidered. Many patients are also affected by fatigue and lack of concentration, so that they do not perform to their full potential at work. In principle, however, it is often possible to continue to practise the profession even with multiple sclerosis. Those affected should plan more breaks and take as little stress as possible.
The exact effects of multiple sclerosis are very individual. MS is not hereditary, so patients can also have children. A balanced lifestyle and minimising the risk of contracting multiple sclerosis are crucial for living with multiple sclerosis. This is because the body’s own defence processes that are initiated in this way favour disease attacks.
Usually the disease appears suddenly for the first time, within a few days or hours. The patients are then mainly between 20 and 40 years old.
Despite intensive research, multiple sclerosis is unfortunately still not curable today.
For a long time, it was thought that MS does not cause pain. Today, however, we know that these even occur quite frequently. On the one hand, pain occurs as a direct consequence of multiple sclerosis, for example as a result of optic nerve inflammation. On the other hand, pain also occurs indirectly as a result of other symptoms. This is where pain therapy can have a supportive effect.
The idea that MS is synonymous with the wheelchair is persistent in many people. Due to the different courses and symptoms of the disease, it is not possible to say how exactly the disease will progress in the individual patient. Of course, there is a risk that multiple sclerosis will limit the affected person’s ability to walk to such an extent that a wheelchair becomes necessary to maintain mobility. However, thanks to effective forms of therapy and symptom treatment, many MS patients today are not dependent on a wheelchair.
Multiple sclerosis is not a fatal disease. However, individual symptoms can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications. However, thanks to modern therapy approaches, both quality of life and life expectancy have now been significantly improved. Therefore, the life expectancy of multiple sclerosis patients today is comparable to that of healthy people.
Multiple sclerosis poses no danger to the unborn child. Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding also do not pose an increased risk for women with MS. During pregnancy the episode rate even decreases, while during the first three months after birth it temporarily increases slightly. It is generally advisable to interrupt the basic therapy during pregnancy. It is important to have a clarifying conversation with the doctor in charge before the treatment.
Multiple sclerosis is not an infectious disease and is therefore not contagious.
Typical symptoms of early stage multiple sclerosis are:
- Sensory disorders in the arms or legs
- Abnormal fatigue / exhaustion
- Bowel movement disorders
- Visual disorders
- Disorders of muscle function in the form of weakness, paralysis or increased muscle stiffnes
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