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MS and Bladder:

Multiple Sclerosis Bladder Function

Problems and Bladder Infections

When it comes to MS and bladder function, a few different kinds of problems can result.

Multiple Sclerosis is known for attacking and damaging the nervous system, especially with damaging the myelin sheath along the spinal cord and with attacking and causing scarring through out the brain.

The brain is the master controller for the body, which normally sends instructions through nerve signals through out the body to tell the different parts of the body how to function.

The effects of Multiple Sclerosis on the nervous system often results in the nerve signals  becoming scrambled, blocked or over reactive in one way or another, so that the nerve signals do not reach the part of the body that was the original intended destination .

Many different parts of the body can function less or develop many different kinds of symptoms, depending on where the Multiple Sclerosis attacks the nervous system in the body.

MS bladder function problems can be one of the many problems that can result in the body.

MS bladder function problems can include trouble with the bladder not draining as it should, problems with the bladder leaking when it should not (frequently wetting yourself), loss of bladder control at night, urgency getting worse when you are under stress (stress urgency) or problems with frequent bladder infections.

Because Multiple Sclerosis is known for weakening the immune system in the majority of the cases of Multiple Sclerosis, this sets up those with Multiple Sclerosis for frequent infections, of which MS bladder infections appear to be a problem more often.

Multiple Sclerosis can also result in nerve pain in different locations throughout the body, numbness, pins and needles, or odd sensations that come and go.

When there is numbness in the bladder region, this can cause much more of a problem when the MS bladder infections are present, since this prevents the typical pain from occurring, which often accompanies the majority of bladder infections, that signals that a bladder infection is present.

This means that a person with Multiple Sclerosis can have a bladder infection for 1 or 2 months before they find out that they even have it, which can allow the bladder infections to become so out of control that even with antibiotics that the bladder infections can be very difficult to get under control.

Problems often result from the effect of Multiple Sclerosis on weakening the immune system, making it difficult for our bodies to fight off infections of all kinds.  One of the more common infections that is seen in most of the cases of Multiple Sclerosis that doctors are seeing includes frequent bladder infections, which can be mild to severe.

Often when those of us who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis have a bladder infection, they are typically difficult for our bodies to be able to fight off the infection. Because bladder infections can occur quite frequently with Multiple Sclerosis, there are too many times that doctors feel the need to prescribe antibiotics for us to take to help to kill the bladder infections too often.

If the use of antibiotics occurs too many times within a shorter period of time, this often just weakens our immune systems even further, making it so much easier for us to end up with one infection after the other, that can extend the period of time that we have bladder infections for 1 to 6 months at a time.

Multiple Sclerosis is known for weakening the immune system and making it so much easier for us to come down with so many more infections, than the average person will ever seem to know.

Any type of infection can influence how out of control the rest of our MS symptoms can become.

Surprisingly, not all of the infections that those of us with Multiple Sclerosis do end up with can cause the long list of potential symptoms of MS to flair up and cause MS exacerbations to become much worse than they could be otherwise.

MS and bladder problems are a direct result of the MS attacks on the body, which can contribute to nerve function problems and increase the number of bladder infections, which can result.

Bladder infections also tend to set up the body for more MS relapses, than most other types of infections.

Many of the people that I have talked to, who also have Multiple Sclerosis, have told me that when they have bladder infections, this can scramble their brain (as far as how well they can think, how well they can form sentences, how well they can speak or spell, or the bladder infections can make remembering things much more difficult to name a few) or aggravate many of their MS symptoms by  over stimulating the nervous system.

I have experienced many of these problems too, off and on, whenever I have a bladder infection.  These things don't always happen to me, when I have a bladder infection, but they do occur a majority of the time, when I do have a bladder infection.

Since those of us, who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, already have an over stimulated nervous system, this just adds to the real possibility of having more ms relapses, attacks or exacerbations.

MS symptoms that can be affected by bladder infections can include:

* Fatigue -- can become overwhelming.

* Cognitive problems -- can become worse - thinking things through logically, or figuring things out and solving problems can become almost impossible.

* MS speech problems -- everything can become a word scramble or the bladder infections can cause more problems with slurring your words when you try to talk.

This means that often dyslexia can take over and writing, speaking and interpreting things can become much more difficult.

* Incontinence -- loss of bladder control can become so bad that you starting wetting yourself frequently without having enough warning that you can even attempt to make it to the restroom to empty the bladder.

A severe bladder infection can also cause you to have to empty the bladder much more often.

* vision or eye problems -- are increased; vision can become blurry, out of focus, become dimmer and make it much more difficult to read or even to see.

* bladder pain - bladder infections are typically very painful and the pain can be so much worse for those with MS, because just about any type of pain can cause the nervous system to become over stimulated and add to how intense the nerve pain can become.

* bladder numbness or numbness of urethral canal or urethral opening- if you have numbness instead of bladder pain, the numbness can actually increase when a severe bladder infection is present, which increases your chances of ending up with a much more severe bladder infections, the pain often signals that you have  the beginning of a bladder infection.

Bladder infections and/or bladder inections are frequent problems for many who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

As far as the bladder infections go, helping to boost the immune system can help the body of even those with Multiple Sclerosis to be able to fight off bladder infections more easily.

Several herbs and other supplements can help with boosting the immune system and fighting off ms bladder infections.

The herbs and other supplements that I found that help (and that I still use when I find the need to) include the following:

* Vitamin D can help to boost the Multiple Sclerosis immune system  and help reduce bladder infections and other infections, along with helping to reduce the frequency and severity of most infections.

* Uva Ursi - an herb that helps to naturally kill the organism called E-coli, which is one of the main causes of bladder infections.

* D-Mannose - this is the active ingredient in cranberry juice that helps to fight off bladder infections by making the bladder wall slippery to the bacteria, preventing it from taking hold in the bladder and becoming a full blown infection.

This can be purchased as a powdered form in most vitamin stores.

If taken as soon as the initial symptoms of a bladder infection is noticed, this prevents the infection from taking hold and becoming a very severe bladder infection.

This supplement can be taken as a preventative measure too, to avoid bladder infections more often if taken on a more regular basis.

D-Mannose powder can be mixed with water or juice of any kind.  I tend to mix it using a small shaker with cranberry juice.

* Vitamin C - can help to fight off infections by boosting the immune system and helping the body's own natural defense mechanisms to fight off the infection much sooner.

Vitamin C also helps the body to fight off most of types of infections too.

Vitamin C can be purchased as a crystalline, powder, capsule or tablet form.

I find it much easier to absorb the larger quantities of vitamin C if I take the ascorbic acid crystalline form and mix it with water or juice to take it.

If vitamin C tends to bother your stomach, you can take a buffered form of vitamin C that is often called Ester-C or calcium-vitamin C or something like that.

To determine how much vitamin C your body needs to help to boost the immune system to fight off infections, I gradually increase how much I take until I get close to bowel tolerance (loose stools, but not diarrhea) and then I decrease the amount I'm taking just a little from here.

Vitamin C absorbs better if taken in divided doses throughout the day.  I usually take 5,000 to 7,000 mg 2 to 3 times per day to start with, when I have an infection.

The presence of an infection can increase the amount of vitamin C you body needs, as well as increase the amount of vitamin C that your body can tolerate taking each day. 

* Horsetail - another helpful herb for helping the body to fight off bladder infections.

*  Frequency generator - there a few different type of devices fall under this category, with some differences in functionality and use.  The devices that fall under this category are FDA approved medical devices, that have many other names and different forms of the device that helps to reduce how severe the bladder infections can become.

I actually have a form of this device that helps, more often than not, with killing the organism, that causes the majority of the bladder infections that I tend to have because of my weakened immune system because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on my body.  My form of the device is called a "Rife machine".

If all fails, for the very severe bladder infections, that I can't seem to fight off, my doctor does resort to using prescription antibiotics for the bladder infections.  The reasons my doctor minimizes using antibiotics for me is because I develop resistance to the antibiotics if taken too often in a shorter period of time and they don't work when I really need them to work the most.

Because of Mutiple Sclerosis greatly reduces my immunity at times, MS and bladder infections can be a very big problem for me.

I can have such a big problem with bladder infections weakening my immune system that I can get one infection after the other for 4 to 6 months at a time, before my immune system bounces back some and then I don't have a bladder infection again for at least 3 to 6 months.

Boosting immunity can also be accomplished by taking the herbs Echinacea and Astragalus.  The one thing you need to keep in mind with these type of herbs is that they can only be taken for 2 weeks straight before you will need to take a 2 week break from taking them so that this can actually help to keep from overstimulating the immune system too much all at one.

There are other alternative and natural ways that can help to either boost your ms immune system to help fight off infections or to actually help to kill the organism that is the culprit for causing the bladder infection in the first place, but these are the natural ways that I try to use at first when I have a bladder infection, before I resort to the possibility of taking antibiotics again.

Often taking antibiotics for a prolonged period of time actually weakens the  (since taking antibiotics tends to weaken the ms immune system even more and set up our bodies for a vicious cycle of one bladder infection after another). To prevent this from occurring, we need to take probiotics or acidophilus. 

Antibiotics don't know the difference between "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria and they just end up killing everything at one time, even the "good" bacteria that helps to strengthen the immune system.

During the time that antibiotics are taken (and probably for 2 to 4 weeks after stopping taking the antibiotics), the probiotics or acidophilus supplements should be taken to help rebuild and strengthen the immune system again.

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