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Multiple sclerosis is a condition of the central nervous system characterized by the degeneration of the nerves of the brain and the spinal cord. The nerves in the human body have an insulation covering known as myelin, which improves the conduction of impulses across the nerves and is also responsible for maintaining the health of the nerves.
Multiple sclerosis is characterized by inflammation and gradual disappearance of myelin. The nerves too get damaged and the person suffering from multiple sclerosis experiences gradual interference with functions governed by the central nervous system.
Multiple sclerosis is more prevalent in women than in men. It is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. People who have a family history of multiple sclerosis or those living in areas where multiple sclerosis is very common are more likely to suffer from this condition.
The main cause of multiple sclerosis is still unknown though it is widely believed to be triggered by a virus which alters the immune system of the human body. The immune system of the body perceives myelin as the intruder and starts to attack it.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis can be single or multiple and the intensity can range from mild to severe. In close to 70% of the people suffering from multiple sclerosis, almost complete or partial remission from symptoms can occur early on. Typical symptoms of multiple sclerosis include:
- Visual disturbances: One of the earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis includes visual disturbances and the person might notice blurred vision, color distortions, or even monocular loss of vision.
- The person might feel muscular spasms, numbness, fatigue, and piercing pain.
- Another symptom of multiple sclerosis includes weakness in limbs associated with difficulty in coordination and balance.
- Other symptoms of multiple sclerosis include speech impediment along with difficulty in articulating words, dizziness, loss of sensation, and tremors. Some people experience gradual changes such as difficulty in performing sequential tasks, memory loss, decrease in concentration, and impaired judgment.
Swank Diet and Multiple Sclerosis
Numerous people who suffer from multiple sclerosis have found that restricting their diet in certain ways can give them a better control of their multiple sclerosis symptoms. Dr. Roy Swank began his research for finding a cure for multiple sclerosis in the year 1949. He observed that the incidence of multiple sclerosis was related to the consumption of saturated fat and dairy products. In specific cases where fish consumption was high, the incidence of multiple sclerosis was found to be lower.
He enrolled about 150 people suffering from multiple sclerosis and subjected them to a very low saturated fat diet. He meticulously examined their dietary fat consumption for 34 years. The results of the study were significant. The patients who thoroughly stuck to the multiple sclerosis diet prescribed by Swank and consumed saturated fat less than 20g/day managed to be in excellent control of their symptoms. Their condition did not deteriorate significantly.