What is multiple sclerosis?
With the passage of time the number and intensity of diseases has seen a high rise in number. The severity with which certain diseases infect the body not only alters its functioning but also negatively affects the bodies other primary abilities also. A major example of such types of diseases is multiple sclerosis. It is also known as MS disease that attacks the efficiency of the central nervous system and the spinal cord.
Sclerosis directly attacks the ability of the body to communicate and carry forward messages sent from the brain to the body organs. The insulating covers in the nerves of the spinal cord and brain are damaged as a result of this disease. It is often referred as an auto immune disorder where the antibodies generated for the protection of the body have an adverse effect on the body damaging the healthy tissues.
Damage to the protective covering of the nerve cells also known as the myelin sheath slows down the rest of the body functions as well. It leads to problems in the speech, muscles and the vision also. A survey chalks out the rarity of this disease that 1 in 1000 people suffer from this disease.
Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy: Symptoms,Causes and Side Effects
What are the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis has a direct impact on the body resulting to multiple signs and symptoms that suggest the possibility of the disease in the body. Some of the most prevalent symptoms are
- Muscle weakness, cramps and stiffness in the body is a prime indicator towards the inefficiency of the muscular system. Sclerosis ruins the body’s capability to successfully order the muscles and act as per the brain’s order leading to cramping and stiffness.
- Speech problems
- Lack of control over the bladder and bowel movement.
- Problems in coordinating the movements of the arms and legs.
- Vision problems are another symptom to sclerosis. Double vision, dizziness and blindness of one eye all fall under the symptoms of Sclerosis.
All the signs and symptoms that come up as a result of sclerosis differ in their severity. They can be mild or serious and demand the supervision of expert neurologists. This medical condition often leads to the possibility of the patient suffering from depression. The feeling of dependency and the fear of the unknown cause often makes the patient mentally depressed. This feeling of long term sadness also affects the daily routine of the body.
What are the causes of Multiple Sclerosis?
Though the specific cause of sclerosis is not known yet geographical, genetic and microbial infections are believed to be the cause of such mutation in the body.
- Geographically it is believed that people who live farther from the equator have higher possibility of catching this disease. People moderately distanced from the equator like Canadian, New Zealand have lower number of the disease recorded. The cause of such patterns is not known. Doctors believed that the low exposure to sunlight in regions depleted the level of vitamin d in the body which may make the body prone to the disease. It is observed that people above the age of 15 generally fall prey to this disease.
- Multiple Sclerosis is not a hereditary disease but genetic mutation in the body makes it susceptible to diseases.
- Infectious agents and microbes present in the polluted environment trigger the possibility of sclerosis. Lack of proper hygiene and too much exposure from early age may be the cause behind the disease. Smoking and drinking have also shown higher probability of MS in the body.
Side Effects of Multiple sclerosis on Pregnancy
It is good to know that proper care and essential precautions from the very beginning help in the conception and delivery of a healthy child. It is said that pregnancy does not alter or worsen the intensity of sclerosis rather it improves the condition of the mother in the third trimester. Having MS does reduce or degrade the efficiency of the body towards pregnancy but does make certain changes in the pattern of the pregnancy. Unlike a healthy mother the MS suffering mother witness’s slight changes in her pregnancy and delivery. Some of them are;
- An MS suffering mother has trouble pushing the baby out in time when undergoing the labour pain. This happens specifically if the muscles near the pelvic are weak and infected.
- A mother suffering from MS generally has to undergo a caesarean birth because the nerves fail to stimulate the correct contraction. Though the reason is still not as specific yet the number of mothers undergoing caesarean are MS patients who need external assistance for healthy delivery.
- The Gestation period that the amount of time the child spends in the mother’s womb is relatively shorter by weeks in a MS suffering mother. They are observed to have premature deliveries which make the child need external care and assistance for survival.
It is to be noted that because of muscle weakening in the body as a result of sclerosis the ability of the mother to carry a baby is reduced increasing the chances of miscarriages. The suffering mother will need more care and close monitoring for not only her but also the health of the baby to administer that he does not bear the same genetic disorder. Some of the most common treatment advices extended to such pregnant mothers by doctors are;
- Supportive treatment and rehabilitation of the mother constantly by the gynaecologist.
- The family must be involved for the support of the mother helping her carry out the basic day to day activities rendering her some level of independence.
- A regulated exercise program must be followed by the mother for the proper growth of the baby as well as strengthening her own muscles.
- Cognitive retraining must be administered if the case is severe and needs assistance.
- Speaking and communication practice is a must for patients to avoid further deformation in speech.
Even though MS cannot be completely cured yet there are ways and exercises that slow the progression of the disease in the body which must be made a part of the daily routine especially for pregnant mothers.