Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system. Although most cases of MS aren’t fatal, there are four final stages that will eventually lead to death. These stages are usually progressive and have a negative impact on the patient’s quality of life.
Despite the negative impact MS can have on the patient’s quality of life, many doctors and scientists are still trying to find a cure.
Final Stages of MS
Talking about death is never easy, and having multiple sclerosis is unlikely to ease the transition. But, one thing is certain we will ALL face that final curtain call at some point.
What is Muscle Soreness?
The ability of white blood cells to clear harmful substances is determined by the UCP1 protein, which influences how they grow, differentiate and play a role in immunity. Most of us have UCP1 active in our muscle fibres. During sustained movement, UCP1 is turned off.
When you have MS, muscle fibres also don’t generate enough of UCP1 during exercise. At this point, this leads to muscle damage that leads to loss and weakness. Eventually, this progressively leads to movement limitations, motor issues and possibly even a decrease in muscle mass. Because of this, MS patients in the later stages of the disease may be unable to perform physical activities.
What about Muscle Recovery?
In the years that have passed since the disease was first diagnosed, several organizations have published research related to muscle recovery and muscle regeneration. To date, there is still no cure but treatments like medication and surgery may reduce symptoms and lead to slower progression of the disease.
Researchers have found that multiple sclerosis patients who participated in Phase III clinical trials were able to improve their cognition, decrease their pain levels and reduce their atrophy, or loss of muscle mass. While participants showed improvement in their physical ability, they also saw benefits in their libido. Relevant studies have shown these same improvements in sexual function, including an increase in sexual function in men with MS.
Researchers believe the increased fat tissue (adipocytes) that builds up during MS could also be responsible for the reduced sexual function in men. Since women with MS are at higher risk for having high blood pressure and heart disease, the findings of this study could impact the way women react to potentially harmful conventional treatments.
Are there other ways to improve Muscle Recovery?
Aside from medications and surgery, there are other ways to improve your body’s ability to heal itself after an injury, such as regular resistance training and hydrating properly.
These simple tweaks and the proper nutrition are actually easier to do than improves your muscle health.
A nutrient-dense diet that includes the nutrients found in whole foods is recommended for anyone who has MS. To get the most out of your diet you should focus on foods that will benefit your overall health as opposed to specifically treating the disease.
Foods to Avoid
Carbohydrate intake has typically played a large role in the maintenance of healthy endurance athletes.
MS affects many neurological systems, affecting the muscles, eyes, vision, heart, cognitive abilities, and immune systems. It’s estimated that up to 5.5 million Americans have it.
In 2020, 7.4 million Americans were diagnosed with MS, and an astounding 5.6 million of them were considered “exposed” due to previous treatments.
Several lifestyle factors contribute to the development of MS, including genetics, pregnancy, and poorly controlled diabetes. A number of lifestyle factors also worsen symptoms of MS, such as smoking, excess alcohol consumption, fatty liver disease, obesity, and vitamin D deficiencies.
Yearly studies have found that smoking increases a person’s risk of developing MS. Along with genetics, smoking has the most correlation with progression of MS. The relationship between smoking, vitamin D, and MS isn’t clear, but there is a strong correlation.
Smoking has a neurotoxic effect on the lungs and the central nervous system. Studies also show that smokers are more likely to develop autoimmune conditions, such as lupus. If found to have an autoimmune disease, a person is more likely to develop MS as well.
Smokers who develop MS have a progressive disease that causes numbness, tingling, weakness, and an impact on vision. They often have learning disabilities, speech difficulty, depression, and bowel problems. The inflammation within the brain can damage the cerebellum, causing neuron loss.
Certain vitamin D supplements have anti-inflammatory effects, which may be beneficial for people with MS. This has been demonstrated with vitamin D in conjunction with smoking and diabetes.
People who struggle with MS have an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies. This is attributed to MS being a chronic disease that occurs over the course of many years. People may not take their vitamin D supplements regularly, or they may forget to take them.
Vitamin D helps stimulate new blood vessels that can help blood flow to the muscles. These new blood vessels allow better oxygen levels to reach the muscles. MS tissues do not produce enough vitamin D, as well as certain other vitamins.
Individuals with MS have a vitamin D insufficiency. If levels of vitamin D in the blood are low, this lowers circulation and can significantly affect a person’s symptoms. These deficiencies were most prevalent in people who used medications to treat MS. Research has shown that vitamin D insufficiency plays a role in the development of MS.
Excess alcohol consumption is a risk factor for developing MS. Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for heart disease, and people with heart disease are more likely to get MS.
It’s also a risk factor for developing a number of cancers.
What causes multiple sclerosis (MS)?
No Cure for MS
There is currently no cure for MS, but there are treatments that may alleviate the symptoms and even prevent disability progression. The disease can affect any part of the body in multiple ways, from the head down to the toes. Hitting the head during exercise can lead to numbness and tingling, headaches, reduced balance, and difficulty seeing. Not only can symptoms affect your mood, but workouts also cause stress, which can impact the immune system.
The symptoms of MS can range from vaguely noticed to life-threatening. You may experience sprains and/or muscle loss, vision changes, muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, problems walking, loss of coordination and memory, depression and fatigue. These symptoms can affect anyone regardless of gender and/or age, and furthermore, are not a reflection of who you are as a person. Rather, the characteristics are the byproducts of the inflammatory process in the body.
What happens in multiple sclerosis (MS)?
Now that we know what inflammation is, let’s talk about the major factors that can contribute to the disease.
In the early stages of MS, there isn’t much inflammation and no symptoms. You may not realize it, and while there are many theories as to why MS happens, very little is known.
Symptoms of MS in the Final Stages
In the final stages symptoms gradually increase in severity, leading to loss of mobility and eventually loss of consciousness. The most common symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness and pain
- Vision changes
- Rigid posture
- Delayed muscle recovery (i.e., muscle becomes stiff and painful)
- Neck pain
- Numbness, tingling, burning, numbness in the arms
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness
- Sleep disruption and nightmares
The above symptoms tend to improve with time and point to a reduction in inflammation. However, symptoms may not fully fade out with time, and MS symptoms aren’t a one-and-done. One major component that cannot be controlled is the loss of muscle power.
As you become more and more debilitated in the final stages, your level of pain and difficulty with daily activities increases. The rate of inflammation varies from patient to patient, but it typically increases in a predictable progression. There are two major contributors to the progression of disease: the amount and type of white blood cells in the body.
Type 1 diabetes is a glucose disorder. In this disorder, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to properly process glucose, and too much sugar builds up in the blood. The cells begin producing leukocytes, a type of white blood cell that can travel through the body, bind to lymph nodes, and become infected with bacteria. The bacteria infect the white blood cells, which causes a chemical reaction called hemolysis.
A lot of work has gone into bringing you this post. We hope you found it interesting and informative. If you have a question, please ask it in the comments at the foot of this post.
If you don’t have a question you can use the comment to say “Hi”. If you have MS – stay strong and follow the warrior code.