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5 body systems multiple sclerosis can affect

As frequent readers of our blog are well aware, we like to highlight particular diseases and conditions on our blog that are not only common among our readers but can be debilitating as well. One such disease is multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease we emphasized in an article we wrote a few years ago.

In this week's blog post, we'd like to expand on the information provided in our article by talking about five body systems that MS can affect and what setbacks someone with the disease might encounter. By pointing out how the disease can affect a person's day-to-day life, we hope to further illustrate why some MS patients require disability benefits to help offset the impact the disease has on their life.

Immune system. As you may know, your body's immune system attacks foreign contagions in order to keep you healthy. Unfortunately with MS patients, their immune systems mistake their own nerve tissue for a foreign contagion, attacking and destroying it. This adverse reaction to healthy tissue can happen all over the body and can cause numerous health issues.

Nervous system. The nervous system includes a number of organs including the brain, eyes and ears. When a person's immune system attacks the nerves in these organs, a number of problems can occur. In the brain, for instance, a person may experience memory loss, personality changes and moments of confusion. In organs like the eyes and ears, damage can be so great as to render a patient blind and/or deaf.

Muscular system. Destruction of nerves in the muscular system often leads to muscle weakness, balance issues and even problems with hand-eye coordination. According to the National MS Society, 4 out of 10 patients with MS also experience problems with speech as well as swallowing and breathing.

Skeletal system. Though most MS treatments are considered beneficial, it's worth pointing out that some treatments raise a patient's risk of developing osteoporosis. This condition, as you may know, weakens bones, creating further issues when balancing and coordination problems are present.

Cardiovascular system. When MS weakens the muscles of the chest, a person may not be able to take as deep of breaths, thereby lowering the oxygen supply in their blood. Shortness of breath and dizziness caused by low oxygen levels may deter a person from exercising, which can increase their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Source:, "Multiple Sclerosis from Top to Bottom: Getting the Complete Picture," Accessed Oct. 7, 2014

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