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MS Article

What are the Effects

of Multiple Sclerosis on

the Immune System?

Immune system multiple sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis attacks nerves or nerve cells throughout out bodies. Multiple Sclerosis is known for attacking and causing damage to
the myelin sheath that surround, protect and insulate the spinal cord. 
MS also tends to attack the brain, and in particular the Blood Brain Barrier, which surrounds and protects the brain.  Most cases of Multiple Sclorosis tend to result in damage to the nerve cells thorough out the body, which usually results in scarring after each ms attack, ms exacerbation or ms relapse.

Multiple Sclerosis also weakens the immune system, setting us up to end up with frequent infections more often that are difficult for our bodies to fight back against.  Just about any kind of infection appears to become a possibility for those with MS, but there are certain types of infections that are seen more often in those with Multiple Sclerosis.

It is way too easy for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis to have a problem with having  one infection after the other, sometimes for 3 to 6 months straight because of Multiple Sclerosis weakening the immune system.  Because of the effect of Multiple Sclerosis on weakening our immune systems, it is often much more difficult for our bodies to be able to fight off most infections.  Our immune systems can also become much weaker from time to time after having just one infection that happens to be that one infection that our bodies had a particularly tough time fighting off and this can set us up so that it takes too long for our bodies to start to recover after this particular infection.  At times we can think that after we have had a particularly difficult struggle with an infection that we really want to be around people again too soon.  We think we are okay to be around people again, but we need to still rest and allow our weakened immune systems to regain its strength again.  To our already weakened immune systems, other people tend to be carriers of infections, which their bodies are not showing symptoms of and just being around them we can catch another infection  right away.

When I have just had a tougher battle with an infection, I have found that I need to just rest, stay away from other people for at least a week or two and do what I can to give my multiple sclerosis immune system a chance to recover before I am exposed to any one else that may be a carrier for another infection.  As much as I love being around children, if at all possible, I would suggest minimizing the time that you are around children for both during the time that you do have an infection (whenever you are sick) and for at least 1 to 2 weeks after an infection. Children tend to carry large numbers of infections and because they have not yet understood about being especially careful to watch their hands after they sneeze, blow their nose or whenever they touch something that might be able to transmit germs it is too easy for us to catch something from them.

I do not think that those of us with Multiple Scleroses should avoid being around people totally or with being around children either, since I  find that social interaction helps in so many ways to help reduce stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and boosts immune system response (helps the body  to fight off infections), to name a few ways that it helps.  My point is that we need to have a balance between spending time with people to develop social connections and spending time away from people to allow our immune systems to recover some so that we have less of a chance of getting another infection right away after just getting over the first infection.

When we do get one infection after the other and allow our immune systems to just keep getting weaker and weaker, we are setting ourselves up for another ms relapse, exacerbation or attack, that we have a much easier time avoiding if we change how and when we do things.

Infections that are typically seen more often for those with MS can include:

• ms bladder infections
• different forms of the flu
• ear infections
• sinus infections
• cellulitis – infections in one or both of the legs 

This is by no means a complete list of the infections that those of us with MS can battle with, but these are just to give an idea of what I am referring to.

Ways to Boost Immune function can include:

* Eating food higher in antioxidants (broccoli, and blueberries are good examples) 

* Taking herbs to boost the immune system (examples echinacea, astralagus) 

* Taking vitamins that help the body to boost the immune system and aid the body in fighting off infection better (zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D are good examples of this)

* Use of certain types of medical devices that help to reduce the severity of infections, especially bladder infections (various forms of frequency generators) 

* Rest and Relax more (this helps to boost the immune system and fight off infections better)

* Sleep at least 8 hours at night -- the majority of people without MS don't sleep enough at night and this is an even worse problem with those that are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, since often we can have problems with MS insomnia already.   

* Laugh at least daily - laughter is good medicine, since it increases endophins when we laugh (endorphins help to reduce and relieve stress, increase "good mood" feelings, boost immunity, etc.)

* Exercise - this helps those with Multiple Sclerosis too, for increasing immunity, strengthens the immune system, raises oxygen levels making it easier for your cells to function and to detoxify and making it easier for you with increasing cognitive function and more.

There are many difference exercises, depending on the purpose of why you are doing them.  Multiple Sclerosis exercise can include yoga for ms, qi gong, tai chi, ms whole body vibration and a long list of others types of exercise

Any vitamins, herbs or other supplements should not be taken without consulting first with your doctor to determine which ones would be useful or even beneficial for your particular case of MS.

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and about ways to help reduce your symptoms of MS, complete the form below to subscribe to our FREE Multiple Sclerosis Report.

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