New research has shown interesting results from CBD oil being used to treat Multiple Sclerosis. Click here to learn more about this new treatment.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a frighteningly painful and relatively common disease with no cure. The hemp derivative CBD oil is giving hope to the 2.3 million people worldwide with the disease, for its wide-ranging therapeutic effect on everything from pain management, inflammation, and sleep.
Read on to know everything there is to know about the causes, symptoms, and available treatments for MS.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that impacts the central nervous system (CNS). It is chronic, and still somewhat of a mystery to the medical community. The CNS is made up of the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves, and these are the locations where this disease presents symptoms.
One theory is that MS is a disease related to the immune system, where the body attacks healthy tissues of the CNS in error. This causes inflammation of the CNS, and it is this inflammation that attacks myelin, the insulation that normally protects nerve fibers. The symptoms caused by this deterioration can be permanent or can resolve over weeks or months.
The nerve fiber insulation (myelin sheath) would ordinarily help nerve impulses ‘jump’ across neuron nodes. This makes for faster nerve signaling up and down the CNS. In MS, the lack of this insulation is responsible for many of the symptoms, resulting from slow or failed nerve impulses.
The most common symptoms of MS include Spasticity, Numbness/Tingling, Fatigue, Difficulty with Walking, Vision Deterioration, Vertigo/dizziness, Weakness, Bowel Issues, Sexual Problems, Chronic Pain, Cognitive Differences, Depression, and Mood Swings. These will be explored in more detail below. Less common symptoms include problems with speaking, swallowing, headaches, itching, seizures, difficulty breathing, and hearing loss.
While the causes of disease onset are still somewhat of a mystery, research shows some commonalities. It is more often present in women, and while it can affect anyone, those diagnosed are more often between 15 and 50, living far from the equator (may link to lower vitamin D exposure), may have a direct relative with the disease, and are more often women than men, and more often of northern European Caucasian descent.
Sufferers of MS have to learn to recognize and treat the many and varied symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. The symptoms can be slightly different for each person, and the effects are psychological as well as physiological. The most common symptoms are described in detail below.
Spasticity refers to stiffness or spasms, which can occur anywhere in the body of MS sufferers. The symptom is most commonly reported in the legs.
Owing to the deterioration of nerve cells in the CNS, sufferers can experience a tingling sensation, a generalized numbness. This feeling can be felt in the arms, legs or face and is one of the first signs people get that they have MS.
Sufferers of MS can experience a generalized feeling of exhaustion. It is one of the most common symptoms of the disease, with 80% of sufferers reporting it. This makes daily activities difficult or impossible. With many sufferers being women between 20 and 50 who are caring for small energetic children, fatigue is life-shattering.
Those with MS can have trouble walking or walking smoothly. This is perhaps not so surprising when you look at the other symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle stiffness, and spasms, dizziness, and numbness. Only one-third of sufferers lose the ability to walk.
An early sign of the disease can be a change in the quality of their vision. People can experience blurred vision, pain during eye movements, or abrupt changes to color contrasts.
Sufferers can feel a dizzy sensation, sending them off-balance. It is not as common, but some also experience the sensation that the room is spinning around them, also known as vertigo.
A frightening prospect for the generally young or middle-aged women who contract the disease, there can be a general loss of muscle tone and strength, leaving them to feel weak and unable to do what were basic daily living activities prior to the disease developing.
People with MS report constipation, as well as loss of bowel control. Some relief can be gained by increasing fluids and modifying diet. There are many online resources with advice on how to manage this symptom.
The fatigue that MS sufferers feel can greatly lower sex drive. Psychological factors play a part here as well – feeling weak and unwell with stiff or spasming muscles means its hard to feel sexy. The changing dynamic of couples during MS, from lovers to a carer-patient relationship, can also make sex lives challenging.
Debilitating and exhausting, MS brings experiences of chronic pain. It is thought to be because the nerve cells are in essence being ‘eaten away’ by the disease, and once they are raw and exposed they feed an ongoing sensation of pain to the brain. Medication for chronic pain is often strong and highly addictive pain-killers, leaving sufferers to chose between agony or opiate addiction.
Mood changes, depression, and differences in personality can be a symptom of the disease itself, as it acts on the brain within the CNS. They can also be a response to the many physical symptoms of the disease that leave a person losing a sense of themselves. Losing physical ability, being unable to care for families alone, being unable to work fulltime or go into the office, can have a strong negative effect on well-being and self-confidence.
As many as 50% of sufferers report changes to brain function in areas of problem-solving, memory storage and retrieval, and in the ability to learn new information or focus attention. Loved ones may notice changes in a sufferer’s ability to calculate, plan, or even in use of language.
For many of the symptoms of the disease, physical therapies can bring the increased comfort through more fluidity of movement. This relief is generally only temporary. MS lasts a lifetime, and a care plan will include medical doctors to monitor the progression of the disease and prescribe medications to control them, neurologists, mental health care, physiotherapists, rehabilitation professionals, occupational therapists, and support groups for the person with MS as well as for their carer(s).
One of the most common medicines prescribed is corticosteroids. They are generally prescribed as short duration high doses, over three or so days, to manage any exacerbations of the disease. They are not thought to be a cure for the disease itself.
Sufferers of MS are increasingly hearing about CBD oil as an alternative treatment for the disease, with wide-ranging effects. Cannabinoid or CBD oil is one of two essential components of the hemp or cannabis plant. The essential component is Tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC.
CBD oil has been shown to impact on MS in a variety of ways, some of which are still not fully understood. It can bring about a reduction in inflammation and in symptoms such as spasticity, muscle spasms, insomnia, and neuropathic pain. Some strains of cannabis are more highly recommended for people with MS than others; the key is to find strains with a high CBD concentration.
Marijuana components can get nausea, vomiting, and pain under control. CBD oil and other medical cannabis extracts are effective and less toxic than drugs that are regularly prescribed. They are even less addictive than common drugs like caffeine or tobacco.
CBD oil can even impact on incontinence episodes. Its anti-inflammatory effects are helpful to reduce chronic pain. It has also been shown to be a ‘neuroprotective agent’, activating and modulating cell processes to halt the advance of MS.
CBD oil when applied topically as a cream was found to produce ‘remyelination’ in spinal cords. That is, not only was it reducing inflammation, it was showing a healing effect on the core activity of MS disease.
CBD oil does not make patents high. The psychoactive reputation of marijuana comes from THC. While THC is still a useful and powerful treatment, it can leave users feeling scattered or high. CBD oil has no high and is actually known as an effective way to counterbalance the THC high.
There are many online resources that look at THC oil and CDB oil. It is important that people consult an authority on CBD oil that takes their information from robust peer-reviewed scientific research. It is advisable to research well and ask questions of doctors who are experts in medical cannabis.
CBD oil can be sourced from various providers, but make sure you find a quality product as not all CBD oil is created equal. While CBD oil may not be the answer for everyone, the impressive results it has shown in a number of studies have most sufferers wanting to know more. If you feel like its time you tried CBD oil, have a look at Cannabis MD.
Cannabis MD is dedicated to helping patients, nurses, doctors and concerned family members know more about CBD oil and other cannabis treatment options, and where to find them. Take a look at their archive of studies, directories for further advice today!
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