Symptoms And Treatments For Multiple Sclerosis

MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheaths surrounding nerves. Shutterstock

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis happens when a fatty material, myelin attacks your immune system. It wraps itself around nerve fibers (a protective coating on your nerves), eventually damaging it. Myelin is similar to the insulin coating on the electrical wires that protects it from shock and earthing. When this outer shell is damaged, and nerves are exposed, your brain becomes incapable of sending signals to your body that controls everything. The process of sending and receiving messages becomes slower or blocked that generates several malfunctions in the body. As a result, you can’t work and think properly. Some of the significant consequences of multiple sclerosis are fatigue, trouble walking, vision problems, sexual issues, numbness, weak bladder, pain, depression, and memory loss.

All these consequences are quite scary as they can seriously disrupt your healthy lifestyle. Hence, it is crucial to know its causes and try to minimize the risk factors. When it comes to understanding what causes multiple sclerosis, there are no specific findings. Even though the reasons are unknown, some elements increase the probability of the disease. Faulty genes are among the common causes of multiple sclerosis. Excessive smoking can also make you more prone to this disease. 

There have been instances where people have developed multiple sclerosis after they got a viral infection, such as the Epstein Barr virus that stops the immune system from working properly. Scientists are working on finding the link between viruses and the human immune system and what can possibly cause multiple sclerosis in humans. Studies have proved that vitamin D that is sourced from sunlight is highly effective in strengthening our immune system.  

Some theories that scientists have framed over the years regarding the causes of multiple sclerosis are:

  • Geography: As mentioned earlier, vitamin D is a good source to boost your immune system; people living in colder regions are more likely to have MS than the people living in the warmer areas. It is essential to extract vitamin D from the sun to protect your body from this autoimmune disease.
  • Genetics: Genetics plays a significant role in developing MS in people. For instance, if an identical twin is suffering MS, the other twin will have 20-40 percent chances of developing it too. Similarly, siblings also have 3-5 percent chances.
  • Vaccines: Extensive research has been conducted to conclude that vaccines are also responsible for causing multiple sclerosis.
  • Epstein-Barr Virus: Exposing to this virus can also make you vulnerable to MS. Some studies have proven that people who are exposed to the EBV and got themselves infected are more likely to catch MS.