Posted by MRK on 29th April 2014

Multiple Sclerosis And Pregnancy: Symptoms And How To Manage It?

Multiple sclerosis is a disorder of central nervous system. It is a condition which is associated with damage to the nerves by body’s own immune mechanism. This autoimmune disease is associated with a wide array of symptoms which range from inability in performing day to day functions to inability to speak. Multiple sclerosis is characterized by acute phases followed by complete remission of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis results in irreversible damage to the nerve tissue and is a progressive disorder. This condition has acute exacerbation during which the symptoms become severe followed by remission when the person returns back to normal functioning.

However as the disease progresses, frequency of remission reduce.

Though the exact reason for multiple sclerosis is not clear, there are several reasons believed responsible for it such as viral disease, autoimmune disease, genetics and environmental factors.

The condition is debilitating and progressive in nature and interferes with the ability of the nerves to communicate to the brain. Unfortunately there is no treatment or cure for this condition; however home remedies can help in alleviating the symptoms associated with this condition.

Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis

Severity of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis varies depending upon the severity and stage of the condition. Some of the common symptoms associated with the condition include the following,

  • Weakness and numbness in the limbs, which often affects one limb at a time.
  • Loss of vision, partial or complete, affecting usually one eye at a time. The eye movements are also considerably reduced.
  • Blurring of vision with frequent complains of double vision.
  • Tingling and pricking pain in different parts of the body. Some individuals may complain of electric shock-like sensations.
  • Tremors, unsteady gait and lack of coordination of the movements.
  • Dizziness and fatigue with generalized weakness.

Most of these symptoms, especially during the early stages of the disease disappear after a particular period of time.

However as the condition progress, the symptoms become more severe and long term.

How Does Multiple Sclerosis Affect Pregnancy?

It is found that pregnancy does not worsen the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. But scientists have also discovered that the symptoms of multiple sclerosis become more apparent in a pregnant woman who has latent and unrecognized symptoms of multiple sclerosis before she conceived. Some studies have also found reduction in severity of symptoms during pregnancy and increment after delivery.

A woman suffering from multiple sclerosis can become pregnant. She needs more care and checkups. Multiple sclerosis does not make a woman infertile. However, for a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis, carrying a pregnancy is disabling and difficult, both physically and mentally.

There is increased risk of falls due to weakness and in-coordination of muscles. The symptoms may become worse, especially fatigue and weakness. There is increased risk of urinary tract infection.

During the time of labor, she may not be able to feel the sensation, pain and contraction of uterus. Therefore normal delivery in such women is difficult. Cesarean section or forceps is the favored option in such cases.

Management Of Multiple Sclerosis In Pregnancy

Unfortunately there is no treatment for multiple sclerosis; however certain lifestyle and dietary factors can help reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with this condition. Much more care and monitoring are required for a pregnant woman suffering from multiple sclerosis.

  • Get adequate amount of rest. Fatigue is a common symptom associated with the condition and hence getting enough rest is important for the management of the condition.
  • Regular exercising is important to keep energy levels high. This also helps strengthen the muscles, improve muscle tone and help in coordination and balance.
  • Don’t let your body temperature rise significantly, as higher body temperature can aggravate the symptoms. Take frequent cold water baths to maintain the temperature.
  • Have a well-balanced diet to keep your immune system strong and avoid secondary infections.
  • Meditation and yoga can help reduce stress levels and help you cope with the distressing disease.
  • Stay in touch with your friends or pursue a hobby. This will help you get your mind off your disease and also alleviate some of the symptoms.
  • Family support is an essential part of treatment for a pregnant woman suffering from this debilitating condition.
  • Measures should be taken to manage incontinence of bladder and bowel which are part of multiple sclerosis.

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