What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease, causing damage to the central nervous system myelin nerve fibers and affecting the spread of messages from the brain to other parts of the body. It happens when the immune system by mistake destroys segments of nerve cells. The disease is characterized by recurrences and remissions and affects people between the ages 20 and 40; however it can occur in younger ages as well.
What is the Symptoms of multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms may differ greatly from person to person and over the course of the disease depending on the location of affected nerve fibers. They may include:
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time, or the legs and trunk
- Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement
- Prolonged double vision
- Tingling or pain in parts of your body
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements, especially bending the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
- Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
- Slurred speech
- Problems with bowel and bladder function
What are the Risk factors of multiple scleroses?
These factors may increase your risk of developing multiple sclerosis:
- Age: it can occur at any age, but most commonly affects people between the ages of 15 and 60.
- Sex: Women are about twice as likely as men.
- Family history: you are at higher risk of developing the disease, if one of your parents or siblings has it.
- Certain infections: A variety of viruses have been linked to MS, including Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis.
- Climate: MS is far more common in countries with temperate climates, including Canada, the northern United States, New Zealand, southeastern Australia and Europe.
- Certain autoimmune diseases: You have a slightly higher risk if you have thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Smoking: Smokers increase your risk.
What are the Complications of multiple sclerosis?
People with multiple sclerosis also may develop:
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
- Paralysis, typically in the legs
- Problems with bladder, bowel or sexual function
- Mental changes, such as forgetfulness or mood swings
How it’s diagnosed?
There are no specific tests for MS. Instead, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis often relies on ruling out other conditions that might produce similar signs and symptoms, known as a differential diagnosis. Your doctor is likely to start with a thorough medical history and examination. Your doctor may then recommend:
- Blood tests, to help rule out other diseases with symptoms similar to MS.
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap), in which a small sample of fluid is removed from your spinal canal for laboratory analysis.
- MRI, which can reveal areas of MS (lesions) on your brain and spinal cord.
- Evoked potential tests, which record the electrical signals produced by your nervous system in response to stimuli.
What is the treatment of multiple sclerosis?
There's currently no cure for MS, but a number of treatments can help control the condition. The treatment you need will depend on the specific symptoms and difficulties you have. It may include:
- Treating relapses with short courses of steroid medication to speed up recovery.
- Specific treatments for individual MS symptoms.
- Treatment to reduce the number of relapses with medicines called disease-modifying therapies.
These medications decrease the episodes, duration, and severity of the illness. Follow your physician’s instructions carefully and take medications regularly as ordered.
- Eat a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet
- If you are taking steroids: avoid salty foods; avoid simple sugar intake, eat foods high in calcium, follow your physician’s/dietitian’s advice and inform him/her if you gain weight
- Ask your physician if Vitamin D supplement is suitable for you.
- Consult your dietitian for further nutritional management.
- Plan and prioritize your activities to save energy
- Get enough rest periods during the day Therapeutic Measures
- Do reasonable aerobic and stretching exercises
- Stay away from stressful conditions
- Avoid extreme hot and cold environment
- Avoid smoking
- Set up a raised toilet, low shower; grab bars, low bed, and low kitchen cupboard at home that will help out in your daily activities.
- Do not start or stop any medication without talking to your physician.
- Talk to your physician if you get pregnant or want to breast feed.
- Talk to your physician if you want to get the Flu vaccine.
Does my Insurance Policy cover Multiple Sclerosis?
Yes. According to CCHI unified Policy terms and conditions, health insurance policies in Saudi Arabia cover the treatment of multiple sclerosis.Please Click Here to access the Unified CCHI Policy Wordings.
References:"Multiple Sclerosis." Multiple Sclerosis, 4 Aug. 2017,
"Multiple Sclerosis." Multiple Sclerosis., 17 Feb. 2016,
"Multiple Sclerosis." Rules,