6 Things To Know About Multiple Sclerosis  

 

Source: pinterest.com

MS is “widely considered an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system of an otherwise normal person is tricked into attacking healthy parts of the body, MS causes damage in many areas of the nervous system. This leads to symptoms that are often different for different people. These include things as seemingly diverse as fatigue, walking problems, depression, cognitive impairment, muscle tightness, or bladder problems,” says Lauren Krupp, M.D., and Robert Charlson, M.D.

Going to a specialist to receive an assessment concerning multiple sclerosis can be nerve-wracking. With the illness being an autoimmune disease, it already clues you in on the possibility that you may have to deal with it forever. Despite that, it may be difficult to gauge just how painful it is for your immune system to attack your nerve cells on a regular basis.

But things become different when the doctor finally confirms that you do have multiple sclerosis. While you may look for a second or third opinion from other physicians, there’s a chance that you can’t escape MS anymore. All you can do now is to learn more about the ailment to make your new reality extra endurable.

 

Source: pinterest.com

 

  1. Its Primary Cause Is Unclear

When you ask a health professional why you, of all people, acquired the disease, he or she can give you a few likely causes. You may not hear them say that it’s due to your lifestyle, genes, or something else, however, since it isn’t easy to pinpoint. The scientists need to conduct further studies before they can make definitive statements about it.

 

  1. The Symptoms May Change

The signs of multiple sclerosis can vary as well, although the immune system mainly goes after the nerves in the spine and brain. Thus, you can experience a numbing sensation in the beginning, along with faltering in your steps and exhaustion. Following that, you may feel dizzy and stiff at times and have issues with your thought process and bowel movement.

 

  1. It Has Four Diverse Types

You also need to know that there are four types of MS. When a doctor tells you that you have a “benign” kind, it means that your immunity won’t always target your nerves. The relapsing-remitting type, on the other hand, entails that the symptoms can come and go. Nonetheless, the illness may be more severe if you get diagnosed with primary or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis as that’s when the indications intensify.

 

  1. Stress And Other Things Can Trigger It

How does your body react when you have an infection or are too busy to sleep regularly? The brain automatically sends out a distress call to your immune system to protect your cells, of course. But for some unknown reason, the antibodies see the myelin covering of the nerves as foreign entities, so they damage it in the process. It is why you should live healthily from the moment you find out that you’re carrying an autoimmune disease – to prevent triggering it.

“When individuals are very stressed, particularly if they become anxious or depressed, their ability to think clearly and objectively may be affected. People can easily feel less capable or weaker than they truly are, and think that their situation is much worse than it really is,” says Steve Bressert, Ph.D.

  1. It Becomes Apparent In Your Mid- To Late-20s

In case you didn’t notice the symptoms above when you reached 20 or 22, you can’t assume that you are entirely free from multiple sclerosis. They may appear from the age of 25 and above; that’s why it’s best to be aware of the MS signals to watch out for now.

 

  1. There Are Treatment Options Available For It

The first remedy that a doctor may recommend to you is taking pills. You can try that, for sure, but bear in mind that autoimmune diseases are still incurable up to this day.

Another option is to improve your lifestyle and be selective about the foods you eat.

 

Source: pinterest.com

“Researchers combined two complementary brain imaging techniques to study the relationship between hippocampal immune response, functional connections, and depressive symptoms. As such, the findings suggest that hippocampal inflammation could be the contributing cause of high rates of depression in multiple sclerosis,” according to Rick Nauert PhD.

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological sickness that may be impossible to get rid of once you catch it. Regardless of that, your life shouldn’t stop after the diagnosis. Find ways to cope with the symptoms, for instance, and treat your body with more care. That’s the only thing that can help you prevent the health condition from worsening.

Therapists Explain The Benefits Of Healthy Living On Your Mental Health

Therapists say a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial in several ways. Not only does it help promote a good physical condition, but it can also help improve both your emotional and mental well-being. “Staying fit is not just for your body. It is also important to keep a fit brain. Brain fitness is about keeping the mind sharp and preventing or battling cognitive disease.” This is according to Trudi Griffin, LPC. A healthy lifestyle can range from a variety of activities such as exercise, creating a balanced diet, to abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes.

In addition to that “The food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health, and mood. A “healthy diet” is one that has enough of each essential nutrient, contains many foods from all of the basic food groups, provides the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight, and does not have too much fat, sugar, salt, or alcohol,” as stated by Carol A. Gooch, M.S., LPC, LCDC, LMFT

Indicators Of A Healthy Lifestyle

Source: pixabay.com

You can ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you’re living a healthy lifestyle.

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you eat at least two to three servings of fruits and vegetables every day?
  • Do you eat a variety of food (go, grow, glow) every day?
  • Do you limit your intake of salty, fried, fatty, and sugar-rich foods?
  • Do you drink at least eight glasses of water every day?
  • Do you exercise at least 30 minutes or more, five times a week?
  • Is your body mass index (BMI) within the normal range (18.5–24.9)?
  • Do you sleep for at least eight hours a day?

If your answer to most of these questions is no, then you probably need to change your lifestyle because you aren’t living a healthy one. You must reconsider how you live your daily life, knowing that the current one you’re living isn’t healthy.

A Healthy Lifestyle And A Healthy Mind

Therapists and psychologists have found a connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind. This idea is also accurate the other way around. It has a long history that started way back in the 4th-century bc, with Hippocrates acknowledging the moral and spiritual aspects of healing.

Hippocrates’ idea promoted the fact that the mind plays a vital role in balancing the healing of an individual. This idea was furthered by Walter Cannon, who coined the phrase “fight-or-flight response” and discovered a direct relationship between stress and neuroendocrine responses. With the help of more scientists and psychologists, they were indeed able to find a connection.

Source: pixabay.com

Through different body-mind therapies, you form a connection. These therapies include cognitive–behavioral therapy, meditation, yoga, prayer, creative arts therapies, and hypnosis. These are some activities that require physical movement or interactions with our body.

We can further strengthen their connection, knowing that each mental state has physiology associated with it. You can experience the relationship through the release of hormones.

Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle

Now that we know the connection between the mind and body, we can look into the benefits of a healthy lifestyle so that we can appreciate it even further. Here are five of the most notable benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Source: pixabay.com
  1. It improves your immune system. A healthy lifestyle helps you lower the risk of developing any diseases like cancer, obesity, heart conditions, or others. Smoking, alcohol, or any other forms of unhealthy living are especially related to these illnesses.
  2. It boosts your mood and energy. Regular exercise can help boost your mood and energy. Exercise can also help improve your cardiovascular health. Thus, it is essential to leave some time for a simple walk around a park or even just an early morning jog. Physical activity stimulates your endorphin, a brain chemical that gives you the feeling of joy and relaxation. Other healthy habits you can try out include making social connections and volunteering.
  3. It promotes healthy weight loss. A healthy diet can give you a better physique. By eating the right amount and with enough variety, you avoid excess weight gain. If you do this regularly, you’re sure to maintain a healthy weight. You need to monitor the calorie content of the food you eat so that you can control your weight. Avoid skipping meals since this increases your blood sugar. Also, remember to limit your consumption of sugary beverages like fruit juice and soda. You can also consider consuming lean meat.
  4. It enhances sleep. Proper diet and exercise help you get better sleep. By sleeping for at least 8 hours, you lower the risk of developing sleep disorders like insomnia. Enough sleep also allows you to feel like you’ve got the rest you need after a long day at work. Not having enough sleep often leaves you feeling tired upon waking up. According to Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D “Regular sleep is important. Sleep has restorative power and evidence shows that sleep enhances memory and improves attention. Sleep is not an option. It is essential.”
  5. It helps you make better decisions. You improve your mental well-being and become more capable of making the right decisions. You become less clouded with distractions and remain focused on the things you need to accomplish. Having a clear and healthy mind can ultimately help you reach your dreams and goals.

Are you considering changing your lifestyle? The best time to start is now!

Psychologists Agree That Chronic Diseases Are Everybody’s Business

Individuals suffer at least one or two chronic conditions in their lives. There is diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders, stroke, and even mental health conditions. Nearly one out of four of these people have problems accepting and addressing the situation. With that, there is a restriction of daily physical activities, problem-solving capabilities, as well as limited cognitive use. The developing number of individuals undergoing severe health conditions put an alarm in the medical field. And since mental health issues are the ones that seem to take less of the public’s interest compared to all other chronic diseases, psychologists try to emphasize on it.

According to Katie Willard Virant MSW, JD, LCSW, “To live with chronic illness is to live with a heightened sense of uncertainty.  We do not know when our symptoms will flare, if and when our illness will worsen, and whether or how well treatment will work.”

Source: publicdomainpictures.net

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Perhaps people already know what anxiety is and how it potentially affects each of their lives. But first, it is essential to note that there are different kinds of anxiety disorders. There is social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, generalized anxiety disorder is the most common and specific type of them all. Its causes are not fully understood. However, it is more likely a combination of both emotional and biological factors. The condition marks excessive worry and fear. “People with this disorder worry about a number of concerns, such as health problems or finances, and may have a general sense that something bad is going to happen. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems and generally feeling on edge,” C. Vaile Wright, PhD and collaborators note. There is uneasiness that lasts for about six months or longer. The disease manifests both physical and emotional symptoms too. In the emotional aspect, it includes persistent, exaggerated, and unrealistic fear that significantly impacts a healthy life. While on the physiological point, it makes the heart beats faster, breathing becomes rapid and shallow, and there is lightheadedness, nervousness, muscle tension, as well as stomach problems.

Source: pixnio.com

Depression

Depression is one of the most widely known mental illnesses that seem misunderstood and taken lightly. Its characterization includes lower mood levels and emotional meltdowns. It averts activities that affect a person’s behavior, thoughts, feelings, and sense of well-being.  It affects people at any age in various phases of their lives under different circumstances too. It is not well-defined what causes the mental condition to arise. However, studies show a significant relation of the disease to biological processes, personal circumstances, psychological factors, and particular events in life. These include an early life experience such as emotional neglect, trauma from sexual and physical abuse, and even poor parent-child relationship. Depression can manifest in several various signs. “It is a mood disorder characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and loss of interest in daily activities,” Dina Cagliostro, PhD added. But the symptoms that people should look out for are the feeling of emotionally low all the time, loss of energy and motivation, general lack of interest on things, difficulty in concentration, and self-isolation. Though it targets the emotional aspect more, the physical impact gets no exemption as well. Depression also shows restlessness; it causes sleep problems, loss of appetite, rapid loss or gain of weight, and decreased sexual desire.

Source: pinterest.com

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a common mental condition that affects a vast number of individuals. It manifests in either type 1 or 2 complications. Individuals with bipolar I have at least one episode of mania. It appears as an elevated abnormal mood partnered with high energy. It alternates with periods of severe depression. However, bipolar II differs due to hypomania and depressive episodes. It contains a less elevated mood. Meaning, it is not as intense as the latter, but it can create an instant shift from being happy and active to sad and dormant. But whatever the types are, the symptoms are almost the same for the two types of conditions. Both of the states include mania or feeling overly happy for an extended period. There is also a feeling of sadness and hopelessness, and it supports extreme fatigues the same as depression. In some other cases, people with bipolar disorder are impulsive and irrational.  The cause of the condition is unclear. Unfortunately, it can last a lifetime.

All of these mental conditions are what almost all people are experiencing. With its severity, chances of brain damage get handed on the table. People can expect chronic mental conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

Managing and treating chronic mental illnesses place a significant burden on society and health systems. Its conditions are growing, and tons of people are getting affected by it. So since its presence takes a toll on all of the individual lives, everyone should do something about it. Everybody should raise awareness and understand what these mental health problems can do to the community.

Battling Stress In Living With A Chronic Illness

Source: pixabay.com

Being told that you have a chronic health condition can be very disorienting. Aside from the confusion, the news may even lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. And instead of going after the probable cure or treatment, most people in such a situation would sulk and then lead to a troubling emotional state. This condition will not help people in their healing process.

Continue reading “Battling Stress In Living With A Chronic Illness”

My Life Long Battle With A Chronic Disease

When I tell people I have a chronic disease, they often look at me and say “no you don’t. You seem to look fine.” Yes, I understand the confusion because I too see myself physically okay. However, my invincible illness is not allowing me to feel better about myself even though I tried therapy online. So, allow me to share my situation and let me start from the very beginning of where I thought that something wrong was happening with me.

Source: pixabay.com

Continue reading “My Life Long Battle With A Chronic Disease”

Benefits Of Online Counseling

Nowadays, many people are already enjoying the different perks and advantages brought by the latest inventions in the field of technology. In this modern time, almost everything is within reach of people. Anyone can already order grocery items without going to the store, pay bills through online accounts or book tickets for travels. At the same time, the availability of gadgets like phones, tablets, and laptops gave rise to the option of online counseling for interested individuals.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

As you probably know by now, counseling is one of the many forms of treatments that a mentally unstable individual can avail to remedy his mental problems. At the same time, the services of the counselor are also necessary for patients who suffer from the consequences of their psychological issues. Because of this, it cannot be denied the number of people who are in constant search of counselors has increased over the past few years. Counselling, in any form is deemed necessary, as of Rhonda Williams, Ed.D., LPC, NCC “Personal counseling, nurturing your own emotional self, evaluating personal relationships, engaging in stress management and positive recreational activities offers value in burnout prevention as well.

 

A lot of counselors are starting to adapt to the latest changes in society. As such, many of them are already in the field of online counseling. At this point, you are probably wondering whether it is possible to engage the services of a counselor through a remote environment. Still, online therapy of almost any sort can prove helpful to the many individuals who for whatever reason cannot go to a therapist’s office.” says Susan Heitler Ph.D. As it seems, it is highly probable to still avail of the services of a counselor even if you are miles away from each other. In this article, allow us to provide you with the top reasons why online counseling is a good thing for you.

 

Easy Access At Home

 

If you are the type of person who is too busy at work and home, then you probably do not have enough time to avail of the services of a counselor. You may end up feeling too exhausted to leave your residence for an appointment or meetings with a professional counselor. Fortunately, there is now a smart solution to your problem. Nowadays, you can already enjoy the opportunity to talk to a counselor through online channels. All that you must do is find a good Internet connection. This is further supported by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. who said “It is easier, in some cases much more easily, to contact your online mental health provider through e-mail and get a quick response than if you call a therapist or psychiatrist in real-life to ask a general question.

 

More Flexible Hours

 

Another significant advantage of online counseling is enjoying the freedom to set a date for a meeting according to your preference. The online counselor will merely wait for you to arrange an appointment. Do not worry because the response will be highly excellent to ensure that you will not be disturbed at any time during your resting period or busy season. Online counseling allows you to choose the perfect time to start a session with your elected counselor. At the same time, some companies even allow cancellations of the appointments as long as you do it before the cut-off. Nonetheless, it is still best if you will make an effort to stick with your original schedule.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Increase In Anonymity

 

One of the challenges in counseling sessions is opening up by the client to the counselor. You will find it awkward to talk about your problems, issues, and mistakes because you fear that the other person will charge you for it. However, things had already changed when online counseling was introduced to the market. Nowadays, it is already possible to seek professional help without actually meeting in a closed environment. With this kind of technology, you can already talk to your chosen online counselor without fears and hesitations because of the increase of anonymity in the relationship.

 

Affordable Fees

 

The professional service fees of counselors can be expensive, and the rate will depend on several factors. It is the primary reason why you can see many counselors charging different rates from that of the other. As a client, your primary concern is probably all about expenses for the counseling sessions. If you want to save more on this item, it is best if you will try online counseling. The rates for this kind of service is way lower compared to a physical counseling session. Keep in mind that the reason for this small rate is because overhead costs or expenses have been decreased.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

The trend these days is to go for online counseling instead of the traditional one. If you prefer to have a personal interaction with a counselor, you can also make this happen by choosing the latter. On the contrary, if you think of the benefits mentioned above, online counseling can become the next big thing in the market.

Learn About The Importance Of Food-Based Multivitamins

learn-about-the-importance-of-food-based-multivitamins-1
Source: unsplash.com

Hearing about a case of malnourishment within the family or anywhere in the country is very disheartening. The condition is connected to undernourishment, although they are not synonymous since even an overweight person can experience the former. Many seemingly healthy individuals go through it as well due to the nutrients lacking in their foods. The symptoms include anemia, dry skin, and weak muscles – disorders we associate to some illnesses yet rarely to vitamin deficiency.

Continue reading “Learn About The Importance Of Food-Based Multivitamins”

Staying Hopeful Despite My MS

Source: pixabay.com

 

I’m Heila, and I was diagnosed with MS just two years ago. Since then, people would always tell me not to lose hope and to practice positivity, but none of them has ever told me how. It actually frustrates me when they tell me this, saying something without really knowing what they’re talking about.

 

I soon realized that I myself had to seek ways to remain hopeful despite my illness. I’ve read about people like me who managed to live a happy life. They spend time with family and even travel with them, and I want that for myself too. I never want to sulk with sadness about something that I didn’t do – it just happened to me. I want to remain hopeful for my husband and my only daughter.

 

These are some of the ways that I have found and practiced to keep me hopeful and positive despite my chronic illness. I wish that if you or someone you know has MS, this will serve as a guide and inspiration to live the same way I do now.

 

Ways To Stay Positive Even With A Chronic Illness

 

  • Prepare some positive statements to replace the negative ones. The vital point to remember is to be aware of your thoughts. Once you begin to drift away and think of guilt, anger, jealousy, or hatred, close your eyes, take a deep breath and compose a positive statement that would help you fight and win over the negative thoughts and feelings. “When you harness the power of positivity, it’s amazing the impact it has on your life. It can decrease stress and make every moment worth experiencing,” Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. wrote.

 

Source: pixabay.com

An example would be when your friends invite you over for a party, and you want to go home because it is very cold. You complain and regret why you went out with them, yet come to think of it.    If you stayed home, you would stay awake all night watching television, bingeing, and crying over the cheating boyfriend who left you. And then you think, “Thank God that there’s only the cold that I need to tolerate – not the pain and the loneliness.”

 

  • Be Grateful For The Small Successes. With an illness like multiple sclerosis, waking up in the morning feeling very little pain is something to thank for, so if you have a few days like these, be grateful. Smile. Sometimes, we tackle such big issues in life that we forget to appreciate the simple gifts – of family, shelter, television, and chocolates! When you contemplate on your day and you were able to smell the flowers in your garden, take an afternoon walk with your favorite coffee, joined your family for a wonderful dinner, then you have won over your illness – today. Tomorrow is another day, and you will try again. “Gratitude is an affirmation of the goodness in one’s life and the recognition that the sources of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self,” Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. says.

 

  • Take Control Over Your Stress. Everyone, including those who do not have a disease, is not spared from stress. They come in many forms. You may experience them at work, in school, relationships, and in my case, tackling a chronic illness. No one lives a stress-free life, no matter how much protein shake you drink and meditations you do. Andy Tix Ph.D. emphasized that, “In order to respond effectively to life stressors, we must realize we have at least some control—if nothing else, over our attitudes.”

 

Perhaps you can try and manipulate stress. When you encounter a new stress from a problem, decide whether it is something that you can change or do something about. If it’s something inevitable and there’s nothing you can do to modify it, then it’s really not something to be stressed about. It is a waste of your time, mental strength, and emotions.

Source: pixabay.com

 

Another strategy you can try is to use stress as a motivation. It makes you work harder to get a promotion. It can encourage you to study and get higher grades. And it can push you to fight and be more determined to survive and live happily despite your disease.

 

If these three suggestions do not work, please do seek help from a mental health professional. You will need all the physical, emotional and mental strength you can get in battling multiple sclerosis or other chronic diseases.

 

 

 

Hope For A Better Life With Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an incapacitating disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. The immune system attacks the insulation surrounding nerve fibers causing its breakdown, thus, resulting in communication problems between the brain and areas of the body. “Uncertainty is one of the hardest parts of any progressive and unpredictable disease,” Ivan Molton, Ph.D. said.

source: newslodi.com

 

Symptoms and Risk Factors

Statistics show that about 20% of people with multiple sclerosis have no or only mild symptoms.

Some of the early signs and symptoms could be:

  • Balance difficulty
  • Muscle aches and spams
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Bladder issues
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Vision problems
  • Cognitive problems

Progression and severity of the disease differs in each person depending on

  • age at the initial onset of symptoms
  • if on the initial symptoms, just one area of the body is affected
  • if it affects mental function, motor control, or urinary control at the initial symptoms

 

Multiple sclerosis may be an incurable disease, but MS patients can have a lifespan as long as the general population.   They just have to live a better life full of hope that their condition will improve because there are people who never lose confidence and never give up doing their best to find a cure. “People with MS benefit from having a comprehensive care team in place, and that oftentimes will include a mental health clinician Talk to your doctor who may be able to help or refer you for services,” Lauren Krupp, M.D., and Robert Charlson, M.D. wrote.

 

Hope in Stem Cell

The method is still in clinical trial and could be the future for MS treatment.  It is a process of applying the patient’s stem cell by injecting it into the spinal fluid to restore limb function.  The result of the trials was impressive with reports of improvement in the muscle function only after 24 hours, and after a few days, the patients can exercise and move just like before the diagnosis.

“There is an increasing body of evidence indicating that the effectiveness of such procedures is very good. The proportion of patients having gone through such a procedure having NEDA is unparalleled by other trials and ways of treating MS,” Jan Hillert, MD, PhD states.

Hope in OMS-7 (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis 7-Step Recovery Program)

Professor George Jelinek formulated this program after his diagnosis of MS.   This is a lifestyle and diet modification program combined with conventional medicine.  This program aims to help people with MS to live a better life – healthier and longer – by reducing the chance of relapse and slowing the progression of the disease.  This program gives hope to the MS patients that their function and symptoms still can improve.

 

Hope in Rehabilitation

Studies and research reveal that disabilities and impairment in function can improve through rehabilitation.

Trans-spinal direct current (ts-DC) is a technique used to promote motor responses by waking up weak muscles or lessening their activity when spastic. This method has resulted in many MS patients increasing their ability to rehabilitate their body.

source: methodisthealth.org

 

 

Hope in Travel

There are people with MS who do travel as their therapy.  People with MS have to plan early on so they will be ready and prepared before they travel, especially regarding their medications that they have to bring. They also need to make sure that they inform other people about their illness so that these people will know what to do in case of emergency.   There’s no need to worry regarding ambulation because people with MS can go around with a cane, walker, scooter or wheelchair.   Travel gives people with MS joy and makes them forget that they have an illness even for a short while.  They never let their MS get in the way of enjoying life.

 

Hope in Meditating

Meditation helps a lot regarding keeping the feelings of uncomfortable tingling and prickling at bay.   People with MS start to feel better, motivated, energetic and full of joy in their daily lives.   Meditation reduces, if not entirely gets rid of, stress that can very well trigger a relapse.

source: moderndayms.com

 

MS could be debilitating but don’t let it be your end.   There’s hope of a better life in every circumstance.   You may sacrifice some areas of your life to adapt to a new lifestyle.  You can accept this as a challenge and never give up as only you can do it for yourself.  It’s never easy, but it is achievable. Just have faith and hope.  If some people who have multiple sclerosis can overcome the disease, so can you.