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Lifestyle | KBeauty | Living with Multiple Sclerosis | Cancer Survivor | Beauty Blogger | My mind takes me to many places! Come along for the ride.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

MS Awareness Week!

Yes ladies and gents it is that time of year again. It is MS awareness week (round of applause).  This week I am going to post information about MS every day. Today it will be very basic overview of what MS is. So if you've had MS for awhile you might be bored (smile). I hope that some of my information will be helpful to someone on the interwebs. 

MS is an autoimmune disorder. This means that our immune system gets angry at things it shouldn't. Usually a healthy immune system only attacks bad things like bacteria but for some reason our immune system gets confused and attacks parts of our nervous system. 

Myelin and nerve structure
The Myelin sheath covers the neurons within in each nerve bunch. Well for those of us who have MS our immune system decides that this sheath is the enemy! The sheath is like the insulation on an extension cord. When it's damaged the electricity can't get through or goes slower. Sometimes it stops all together which causes all of our symptoms. Since every neuron has this sheath you can see why MS can be different for everyone.

The resulting damage is called a lesion. These lesions will show up on MRIs. When damage has occurred it can do a few things, get better, stay the same, or just die off. When it dies off it's called a black hole. Look at this MRI for an example. 

I have black holes personally and it doesn't stop me from functioning. It all depends on where the lesions and black holes appear. Placement is very important. For example if they develop in an area such as the spine it can effect your mobility. I also have spinal lesions and I have no problems with mobility. I am going to have to attribute that to exercise. Maybe that's not what is keeping me mobile but I'll take it! As well 70% of people with MS will never need a wheelchair. So, that image of us wheelchair bound and just accepting our fate is not true. 

I will talk more about MS as the week progresses and I hope it's informative and helpful. At the very least I want to dispel some of the myths that surround MS, like the fact that we will all lose the ability to walk. 

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