National MS Education and Awareness Month 2016, multiple sclerosis fatigue, MS effect on women, and osteoporosis risk

By: Bel Marra Health | Health News | Saturday, March 19, 2016 - 09:00 AM

Since 2003, March has been recognized as a National MS Education and Awareness Month by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and affiliated groups for the purpose of raising awareness on multiple sclerosis, comorbid conditions like osteoporosis and low bone density, management of MS symptoms such as multiple sclerosis fatigue, along with new research findings associated with MS – for example, potential benefits of higher vitamin D dosages for MS patients. The main objectives of this campaign is to promote an understanding of multiple sclerosis and to help MS patients with informed decision-making regarding their healthcare choices. With multiple sclerosis being one of the most unpredictable neurological diseases, it is important for both MS patients and their caregivers to know medical symptoms that manifest in different parts of the body and affect different functions controlled by the central nervous system. It is equally crucial to be aware of the coping strategies that can significantly improve the quality of life with MS. To support the efforts of the National MS Education and Awareness Month, Bel Marra Health has compiled this roundup of MS-related articles on research studies, risk factors, and symptom management.

Multiple sclerosis fatigueMultiple sclerosis fatigue can be managed successfully: Study

Multiple sclerosis fatigue can be successfully managed, according to research studies. Fatigue is a common complaint among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and, unfortunately, it can negatively impact a person’s life. This is why it is so important to properly manage MS fatigue in order to improve quality of life and overall health.

Dr. Sarah Thomas, Professor Peter Thomas, and colleagues created a group-based fatigue management program for multiple sclerosis patients called FACETS (Fatigue: Applying Cognitive behavioral and Energy effectiveness Techniques to lifeStyle). Patients are provided with tools and strategies in order to properly manage their energy and explore different ways to think about fatigue.

The program is conducted through weekly sessions, facilitated by two health care professionals. Continue reading…

Multiple sclerosis in women can lower food folate, vitamin E, and magnesium levelsMultiple sclerosis in women can lower food folate, vitamin E, and magnesium levels

Multiple sclerosis in women can lower food folate, vitamin E, and magnesium levels. A reduction in these vitamins and minerals can lead to serious health consequences, as they work as powerful antioxidants and contribute to overall good health.

The researchers looked at 27 Caucasian women with multiple sclerosis and compared them with 30 healthy women aged 18 to 60. Participants reported on their diet and nutrition over the previous year before they began taking vitamin D supplements.

On average, the multiple sclerosis women had lower levels of food folate, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin, and quercetin. Average intake of food folate among the multiple sclerosis women was 244 mcg, while the healthy women consumed 321 mcg, with recommended daily allowance being 400 mcg. Magnesium intake among the multiple sclerosis women was 254 mg, and the healthy women met the recommended daily allowance of 320 mg by consuming, on average, 321 mg. Continue reading…

Osteoporosis and low bone density are common in multiple sclerosis patientsOsteoporosis and low bone density are common in multiple sclerosis patients

In multiple sclerosis patients, osteoporosis and low bone density are common in the early stages of the disease. Osteoporosis is normally a condition that comes with age. It is characterized by the bone density loss, which increases the risk of bone fractures. Aside from age, other factors, too, increase the risk of osteoporosis, like smoking, caffeine consumption, and lack of calcium and vitamin D.

Study author Stine Marit Moen said, “We’ve known that people who have had MS for a long time are at a greater risk of low bone density and broken bones, but we didn’t know whether this was happening soon after the onset of MS and if it was caused by factors such as their lack of exercise due to lack of mobility, or their medications, or reduced vitamin D from lack of sun exposure.”

Extensive research has established a connection between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). Vitamin D is crucial for bone health as it helps the absorption of calcium, which is also necessary for strong bones. Moen added, “Our hypothesis was that if vitamin D exerts a major effect on the risk of MS, then the effects of low vitamin D levels on bone density would be apparent soon after the onset of MS.” Continue reading…

Multiple sclerosis patients at higher risk of other illnessesMultiple sclerosis patients at higher risk of other illnesses: Study

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are at a higher risk of developing other illnesses, according to a new study. Patients with MS are more likely to suffer chronic illnesses, compared to individuals without the neurological disorder.

The researchers looked at how common several chronic conditions were in over 23,400 newly diagnosed patients and over 116,000 individuals without multiple sclerosis. Conditions studied were high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, chronic lung disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

The researchers found that multiple sclerosis patients had higher rates of all studied chronic conditions, but there were significant gender differences. Continue reading…

Multiple sclerosis patients may benefit from higher vitamin D dosage levelsMultiple sclerosis patients may benefit from higher vitamin D dosage levels

Multiple sclerosis patients may benefit from higher vitamin D dosage levels. Research has found that high dose vitamin D3 for multiple sclerosis patients may help regulate the body’s hyperactive immune response. The findings come from researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Study author Peter Calabresi said, “These results are exciting, as vitamin D has the potential to be an inexpensive, safe and convenient treatment for people with MS. More research is needed to confirm these findings with larger groups of people and to help us understand the mechanisms for these effects, but the results are promising.”

Research has shown that low levels of vitamin D increase the risk of multiple sclerosis, and patients with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to experience disease disability and disease activity. Continue reading…


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