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Multiple Sclerosis and Allergies

By Daryl H. Bryant (387 words)
Posted in Living with MS on April 24, 2013

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Multiple Sclerosis and Allergies

Environmental, food or other allergens remain theories as to what might initiate multiple sclerosis. Researchers have not found conclusive evidence that substantiates the idea. Subsequently, treating MS symptoms with anti-allergy methodology has no scientific basis. Treatments offered by alternative medicine practitioners might include anything from eliminating certain foods from an individual’s diet to recommending allergy medications.

Diagnosing Allergies

Identifying allergies generally requires that someone undergo testing for sensitivity to specific antigens. When suspecting gluten intolerance, physicians often require tissue transglutaminase antibody tests and possibly total immunoglobulin A tests, commonly called tTG and IgA studies. Eliminating foods from a diet unnecessarily may cause serious dietary deficiencies. Patients should only make drastic dietary alterations under the advisement of a qualified heath care provider.

MS and Gluten Intolerance

In the ongoing search for what actually causes multiple sclerosis, scientists around the world researched the possibility of a gluten intolerance or sensitivity connection. The majority of studies indicated that MS patients exhibit gluten intolerance no more frequently than the general population. Studies of patients having celiac disease, gluten intolerance or sensitivity do however suggest that nearly one-third of the people experience neurological symptoms that may resemble MS. Symptoms might include anything from headaches and vision disturbances to numbness, tingling and pain in the extremities or balance and gait abnormalities. Whether the neuropathy occurs because of the inflammatory process or the nutritional deficiencies associated with celiac’s remains unknown.

Multiple Sclerosis

Considered an autoimmune disorder, the inflammatory disease attacks the protective lipid rich myelin coating that surrounds the nerves in the brain and spinal column, commonly known as white matter. After inflammatory episodes, the nerves generate the healing process, which causes scarring often referred to as lesions or plaques. Disruption of this sheath interferes with normal nerve transmission, which may give rise to a variety of symptoms. Individuals commonly begin experiencing problems in early adulthood.

Inflammatory attacks may come and go along with the array of symptoms. Patients may experience remission for extended lengths of time. Patients may have intermittent attacks or the disease process may cause a chronic condition that progresses and causes cumulative effects.

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