Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is an unavoidable and often invisible disease.

  • Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease that can affect the spinal cord, optic nerves and brain, brought about by lesions or scars from inflammation in those areas.
  • The actual cause of multiple sclerosis is not known at this stage, but it is possibly caused by a virus or bacterial agent combined with a genetic tendency that causes immune problems, and smoking is said to increase the risk.
  • Multiple sclerosis damage most likely occurs from the body’s immune cells attacking parts of the central nerve system.
  • ‘Multiple sclerosis’ is also known as ‘MS’, ‘disseminated sclerosis’ and ‘encephalomyelitis disseminata’, and ‘sclerosis’ comes from the Greek word ‘skleros’ meaning ‘hard’.
  • Those with multiple sclerosis typically have a few symptoms, but not generally numerous, that vary from person to person, and can including fatigue, eye problems, coordination issues, pain, speaking difficulties and malfunctioning sensations.
Multiple Sclerosis, Ill, Disease, Wheelchair, Black and White, Sad, Disability, Ten Random Facts, Flickr
People affected by Multiple Sclerosis Image courtesy of Dominik Golenia/Flickr
  • There are four different types of multiple sclerosis, from most common to rarest, relapsing-remitting, primary-progressive, secondary-progressive (this has become less common due to new medications) and progressive-relapsing.
  • Women are more than two times more likely to be affected by multiple sclerosis than men, while people of European descent are also more susceptible.
  • There were roughly 2.5 million people in the world with multiple sclerosis in 2010, with the number of new cases rising by 4% annually.
  • Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t have a known cure, although there are some medications and therapies that can stall symptoms of the disease.
  • Multiple Sclerosis was first detailed as a disease by French Jean-Martin Charcot, a neurologist, in 1868.
Bibliography: Multiple Sclerosis, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_sclerosis
What is MS?, 2014, MS Queensland, http://msqld.org.au/about-ms/what-is-ms

Coeliac Disease

Seel-ee-ak? Celiac or coeliac… they are the same thing.

  • People with coeliac (pronounced seel-ee-ak) disease can’t consume gluten found in barley, rye and wheat, and most coeliacs also react to oats.
  • One in five people affected by coeliac disease may not react to the gluten in oats.
  • When those with coeliac disease consume gluten, it damages the small intestine (villi), so that nutrients aren’t absorbed properly.
  • Coeliac disease is one of the only diseases that can’t be cured, but is easily treated via a gluten free diet.
  • If coeliac disease is not treated, serious problems could occur like poor nutrition, infertility, cancer and diabetes.
Coeliac Disease, Small Intestine, Bowel, Duodenum,
Effects of Coeliac Disease  (Inside Small Intestine)
  • Symptoms of coeliac disease can include depression, behaviour, fatigue, weakness, easy bruising, skin rashes, bone and joint pains, and in children, failure to thrive, irritability and delayed growth, as well as other health problems.  Sometimes no obvious symptoms are present.
  • Those with coeliac disease, must be on a strict diet that has no gluten or any traces of gluten.
  • Commonly, those with coeliac disease are lactose intolerant, although this often rectifies itself once a gluten free diet has commenced.
  • Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 Australians and 75% of people who have the disease do not know they have it.
  • Coeliac disease vaccines are currently being developed in Melbourne, to help those affected by coeliac disease to consume gluten without damaging the small intestine.
Bibliography:
Coeliac Disease 2011, Coeliac Australia, <Http://www.coeliac.org.au/coeliac-disease/index.html>
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