Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological, lifelong condition that affects the brain and/or the spinal cord. It’s one of the most common causes of disability in adults and is more common in women than men. Symptoms will most often develop in the 20s or 30s, but can develop at any age.


What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis will often vary widely from person to person. They can affect any part of the body. The main symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty walking
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision
  • Problems controlling the bladder
  • Numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
  • Muscle stiffness and spasms
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Problems with thinking, learning, and planning
  • Slightly reduced life expectancy

Depending on the type of multiple sclerosis, the patient’s symptoms may come and go in phases, or get steadily worse over time. Patients will also often experience periods where the symptoms are much less severe.

There are two types of multiple sclerosis: individual relapses or gradual progression. 80% of people with MS have the relapsing type. Periods between attacks are known as periods of remission. These can last for years at a time.

In primary progressive multiple sclerosis, symptoms will gradually worsen and accumulate over several years. There are no periods of remission, though people often have periods where their condition appears to stabilise and the symptoms are slightly less severe.

Early diagnosis is important with multiple sclerosis, so going to the GP with early symptoms is vital. Some symptoms may be caused by something else, but a GP will be able to refer patients to the right specialist for a formal diagnosis.


What causes multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition, meaning it’s when something goes wrong with the immune system and it mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body. With MS, the brain or spinal cord of the nervous system. The immune system attacks the layer that surrounds and protects the nerves called the myelin sheath.

The damage caused to the sheath and potentially the underlying nerves results in the messages travelling along the nerves becoming slowed or disrupted. This presents itself in the form of the symptoms listed above.

It’s unknown exactly what causes the immune system to act in this way, but most physicians think that it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors.


What treatment options are available for multiple sclerosis?

As there’s no cure for multiple sclerosis, treatment focuses on controlling the condition. The exact methods depend on the individual’s symptoms and medical background. It might include:

  • Treating relapses with short courses of steroid medicine to speed up recovery
  • Specific treatments for individual MS symptoms, such as physical therapy to help improve motion and stability
  • Treatment to reduce the number of relapses using medicines called disease-modifying therapies

Multiple sclerosis itself is rarely fatal, but the knock-on complications that arise from the condition, such as chest or bladder infections or swallowing difficulties, can risk the patient’s life.


How can medical cannabis help with multiple sclerosis?

For some patients, medical cannabis can provide useful relief to people suffering from multiple sclerosis alongside traditional forms of treatment. For example, this study from 2018 provided evidence in favour of the use of medical cannabis, where five of the eleven reviews concluded that there is enough evidence that cannabis can help with muscle spasticity.

The Medical Cannabis Clinics’ team is dedicated to raising awareness about how medical cannabis can help with a range of conditions. Your prescription can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances and needs, with ongoing support and adjustments made as necessary. This kind of care is especially important for progressive MS, where the symptoms worsen over time.

At The Medical Cannabis Clinics, we offer treatment plans and private care for patients through online video link consultations with our expert specialist doctors, who can guide you through treatment options available from the clinic.

Appointments start from only £70. Book a private consultation today and one of our expert specialist doctors will be able to offer you targeted advice and treatment plans, unique to your needs and symptoms.

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