Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system where the protective covering of nerves called myelin becomes inflamed. Currently, there are no cures for the disease, but several available treatment options. It is common that patients use medical treatments and therapy to treat this disease, but given that there is no cure, more people are willing to try alternative or other complimentary therapies that may ease the patients’ symptoms when suffering from the disease. These therapies are not intended to cure MS but there is evidence that they are helpful if done alongside the prescribed treatment.
It is recommended that these alternative therapies be used only after being discussed with your doctor. For instance, acupuncture or yoga can be a stress reducer and help manage the symptoms of MS, but it can have other negative effects on your body. It is important that all forms of alternative medical treatment are discussed with your doctor first; doctors have the required knowledge of your health and possible interactions, thus are able to recommend the best actions for your health. They are able to point out any potential side effects or negative effects from the alternative treatment.
One example would be to take primrose oil, which may help in lessening the effects of MS symptoms. Primrose oil contains linoleic acid, an ingredient easily found in sunflower seeds, which has underwent promising studies that show that it may ease symptoms of MS. Additionally, massage therapy is a commonly used option for patients with MS, as it can help reduce stress and depression. It is a low risk alternative treatment, but there is no hard evidence that this therapy helps with treating MS.
Some of these therapies can prove to be quite helpful for patients with MS, but consulting your physician before beginning them is vital. This will allow the patient to have a second opinion and the physician could suggest monitoring techniques to see if that therapy is working for the specific individual.
Alternative and Complementary Therapies for MS. WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/guide/multiple-sclerosis-alternative-therapies#2
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