how Multiple Sclerosis works/attacks the body. Also what the medication does to help. I’ve been diagnosed with it and it’s a lot to take on when info comes at you in medical jargon.


And before anyone says – yes I know I need to speak to my doctors etc, but I just need a starting point so I can go from there.

In: Biology

The nerves running through your body allow your body and brain to communicate. These nerves are protected by a fatty type covering. In MS this covering is attacked by the immune system. When the covering is damaged a variety of symptoms occur.
Check out r/multiplesclerosis and Dr boster on YouTube (he has an MS center in Ohio and is very knowledgeable), both are really helpful.
I’m in the process of being diagnosed myself, so I don’t have any experience with DMTs (disease modifying therapies) but I know that there are quite a few.
Some medications can essentially “build a bridge” over these damaged areas (watched an interview on YouTube and it allowed a woman to be able to use her legs again, absolutely amazing) and allow your brain to communicate with your body again.
What form of MS were you diagnosed with? If you don’t mind sharing. I’m suspected RRMS because my symptoms, for now, come and go.

If you have a really bad pimple on your skin, the area will swell up and the pimple will sometimes leave a scar after the inflammation has gone away.

If you have MS, a similar thing can happen to certain nerves in the body, or rather the outside myelin layer of the nerves. The scars will block or slow down some of the signals that the nerves would normally transmit, so this may have an effect and how well you can control your muscles or it may interfere with your senses (touch, vision, pain etc.).

Like with pimples, swelling can also occur and cause certain problems by putting pressure on the nerves. The symptoms caused by swelling tend to be more temporary and often go away once the inflammation and swelling dies down. This is similar to your arm going numb because you slept in a weird position. Once you straighten it out and no longer put pressure on the nerves, the numbness goes away pretty quickly.

I’m a bit out of my wheelhouse here but there has been some progress made regarding science’s understanding of remyelination (rebuilding the myelin sheath). It sounded promising!

OP, sorry to hear of your diagnosis, I know it must be daunting right now, and good on you for getting better educated about your condition and prospects!

In essence, like any autoimmune disorder, MS is a condition where the body mistakenly attacks parts of itself – here, the covering (myelin sheath) of your nerve cells.

Others can speak more to current medical protocol so I will just throw in some other lifestyle components, ie, things you can do to help limit what is essentially a stress and inflammatory response on your body:

– Limit stress

– Limit heat (both via climate and overheating via exercise)

– There is some good evidence that in conjuction with standard protocol, an anti-inflammatory diet can be helpful in limiting flare-ups. (Note I am *not* saying to do this instead of clinical support but rather together with it!) In general this usually equates to “mostly vegan, some oily fish”, but you might wish to look into it yourself. The impact of the gut biota on many inflammatory responses, from the immune system to mood disorders, is a really exciting realm of research we’re only at the beginning of exploring.

– Obviously proactive things like good sleep, work/life balance, meditation or other stress-reducing activities are helpful in managing any chronic condition as well!