Sunday, 8 July 2007

What does weather have to do with MS?

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Multiple Sclerosis is one of those scary diseases that doesn't have a cure and that no one knows the cause of. I admit that I'm a bit of a hypochondriac so any condition for which there are no known preventive measures worries me quite a bit. I never really knew much about MS until someone I know was diagnosed with the disease and filled me in on some of it's idiosyncrasies.

First of all, as information on this site states, there seems to be some weird link between MS and the weather. There is a much higher instance of the disease among those who grew up in cold climates and no one really knows why. Similarly, symptoms of the disease seem to worsen for some when they spend too much time in a hot climate. At the same time though, I've heard about people with the disease who find that their symptoms are much better when they visit warm and humid climates. Go figure. It's definitely a mysterious disease.

While it's frustrating to known that you can't really take any steps to prevent MS, I also learned that, depending on the severity of the disease, for many the symptoms can be controlled by lifestyle. The person I know with MS says that she feels pretty much normal as long as she sticks to a healthy diet with lots of exercise and little drinking. Alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal medicine also seem to help. So while being diagnosed with the condition is pretty scary, it's important to keep in mind that there are a variety of ways to treat, deal with and live with the disease.

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