Several million people across the globe are living with the condition known as MS or multiple sclerosis. The majority of them were diagnosed with this condition between 20-40 years of age.
Due to the complexity of the condition, diagnosing MS requires a multi-stage testing process. Once a positive diagnosis has been obtained, patients have several treatment options available to them, which we’ll outline below.
The Diagnosis Process
To diagnose multiple sclerosis, doctors rely on a variety of tests that are designed to rule out other medical conditions. This is necessary because there are no specific diagnostic procedures for detecting MS. The diagnosis process may include:
Blood Tests:During initial testing, blood samples are used to rule out common conditions that present similar symptoms to MS. These blood tests also check for unique biomarkers that are associated with MS.
Spinal Tap:Depending on the results of the blood tests, the physician may schedule a spinal tap next. This test involves puncturing the lumbar spine in order to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid is then subjected to laboratory analysis and checked for abnormal antibodies linked to MS.
MRI:An MRI or magnetic resonance imaging test is used to identify lesions on the spinal cord and brain. These lesions are a common sign of MS. Oftentimes, patients receive an IV injection of a “contrast material.” This substance helps to highlight legions during the MRI scan.
Evoked Potential Tests:An evoked potential test documents electrical signals that are created by your nervous system. It can use electrical stimuli or verbal stimuli in order to prompt your nervous system to create impulses. The goal of this test is to determine how fast information is traveling down nerve pathways.
MS Treatment Options
While MS has no cure, there are several viable treatment options available. These treatments can enhance the quality of life of MS sufferers and mitigate their symptoms. MS treatments include:
Corticosteroids:Corticosteroids are used to reduce nerve inflammation. They can be administered orally or through an IV. However, corticosteroids do present a risk for several side effects, such as insomnia and increased blood sugar.
Plasma Exchange:Plasma is the liquid component of blood. During this treatment, the plasma is removed and separated from the patient’s blood cells. The cells are combined with albumin (protein solution) and put back into the patient’s body.
Stem Cell Therapy:Stem cell therapy is an alternative treatment option for patients with MS. It is being used to potentially help patients suffering from symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions. Stem cells stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities and have the potential to help manage MS symptoms. If you or a loved one suffers from MS, stem cell therapy may be an option to explore as an alternative treatment.
In recent years, people across the nation have become more conscious of the foods they consume. You may have implemented basic detoxing tips or started to work on cleaning up your diet.
However, one of the most popular whole grains out there has some hidden side effects that you should know about. While it is often considered a healthier alternative to white rice, brown rice may have some effects to consider.
Brown Rice Contains Small Amounts of Arsenic
Arsenic is a toxic chemical that may be present in brown rice. This toxin has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Some studies suggest that rice contains concentrations of arsenic that are up to 10 times that of other grains. If you decide to eat brown rice, do so in limited quantities and make sure to rinse it thoroughly before cooking, as this can help reduce the concentration of arsenic.
Brown Rice Can Cause Digestive Issues
Brown rice is richer in fiber than white rice and many other grains. While consuming more fiber has its benefits, some individuals are sensitive to it. In those individuals, excessive brown rice consumption can cause digestive distress, such as constipation or bloating.
To reduce your risk of experiencing this side effect, you may want to consider limiting your grain intake. Working anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can also be beneficial for your overall wellbeing.
Brown Rice Can Elevate Your Blood Sugar
Especially when consumed in large quantities, brown rice can elevate your blood sugar. It has about as many carbs per serving as white rice, which means that you should consume it in moderation.
While eating brown rice certainly has its benefits, you should be aware of how much you are consuming at any one meal. When incorporated into a healthy way of eating, brown rice is an enjoyable grain that pairs well with just about any protein.
The plantar fascia is a ligament that attaches the front of your foot to your heel. For many people, this thin strip of tissue can cause large amounts of pain. Over half of all Americans report pain in their heels. Plantar fasciitis is the leading cause of heel pain.
This is one of the most common orthopedic conditions. With constant use, your plantar fascia sustains wear and tear over time. Plantar fascia inflammation can cause severe discomfort in the heel.
This condition is common among runners and other athletes who use their heels extensively. But plantar fasciitis also affects pregnant women because they often carry extra weight.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease the heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Below, we will discuss a few useful stretches for soothing heel pain.
Stretching the Calves
Stretching the muscles that are close to the inflamed ligament can help to ease discomfort.
To stretch your calves, take the following simple steps:
Stand with arms outstretched and palms against a wall
Place your left foot behind your right foot
Gently bend your right leg toward the wall
Keep your left knee straight and heel on the floor
Hold the stretched position for 15 to 30 seconds
Switch the position of your legs and stretch again
Repeat each calf stretch three times. This stretch works the soleus muscle in the lower part of your calf.
Stretching the Plantar Fascia
You can stretch the plantar fascia directly by using the following seated stretching exercises:
Foam Roller Stretch: Sit straight on a chair and roll the bottom of your foot over a round foam roller. You can also use a cold beverage can or frozen bottle of water. Repeat for one minute and then switch feet.
Big Toe Stretch: Sit straight on a chair and cross your legs. Gently grab your big toe and pull it toward your body. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, but no longer. Reverse your position and do the same with the other foot.
These simple stretches can help to ease the heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
In recent years, lemon water has gained traction as a low-calorie beverage that can help you to lose weight and improve your overall health. But is this tart drink all that it’s cracked up to be?
Below, we’ll take a look at what the science says so that you can decide whether lemon water should become a part of your daily routine.
What is Lemon Water?
As the name suggests, lemon water is just lemon juice diluted into a glass of water. There is no exact dosage recommendation, so you can put as much or as little lemon juice in the concoction as you want. It can be consumed either hot or cold, depending on your personal preferences.
When you’re mixing up your batch of lemon water, feel free to add in some extra components, like include lemon rind, honey, turmeric, mint, or any other herbs that make the beverage more enjoyable If you are not too keen on tart drinks.
The exact nutrition facts of your lemon water will depend on how much you use. If you incorporate other herbs or sweeteners, it will also impact the nutrient profile of your beverage.
For the nutrition of a single lemon, you’ll receive:
21% DV vitamin C
9.6 mcg folate
While a single lemon does not provide an abundance of essential nutrients, it does contain lots of flavonoids. These compounds can help your body to fight disease.
The primary benefit of lemon water is that it is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. These two compounds help your body to combat inflammation and prevent cell damage. Lowered inflammation can help to reduce your risk for various health conditions, such as diabetes and cancer.
In addition, adding lemon juice to your water can make it more palatable. This can help you to reach your daily water intake goals and stay properly hydrated. Adequate hydration can support weight loss efforts, optimize your mood, and improve your digestive health.
In short, lemon water has several notable benefits and virtually no drawbacks. When paired with a regular exercise regimen and proper supplementation, lemon water can help you reach your health goals!
Because of this, certain supplements may help support the health of mesenchymal stem cells in the body. Encouraging healthy stem cells can help potentially improve the outcomes of stem cell therapies for injuries and other conditions.
Many different supplements are likely to support the health of mesenchymal stem cells. More research is needed on the direct effect of these supplements on mesenchymal stem cells specifically.
Still, there is plenty of scientific research to support the idea that certain supplements boost tissue growth. This tissue growth includes the development of mesenchymal stem cells.
Chondroitin/Glucosamine: Typically, these supplements are used to treat the symptoms of arthritis. They are usually harvested using shellfish.
Glucosamine promotes the growth of cartilage, which entails the development of mesenchymal stem cells. Also, some laboratory trials have shown that these supplements can encourage the longevity of stem cells.
Turmeric: This spice is often used in Indian cuisine. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. In part, turmeric’s effectiveness is related to the presence of curcumin. This chemical compound decreases inflammation and supports general health.
Some research has suggested that patients with Alzheimer’s disease can see improvements by taking turmeric supplements. Curcumin is believed to support and protect mesenchymal stem cells, as well.
How Do Supplements Support Mesenchymal Stem Cell Growth?
Not all supplement brands are created equally. Be sure to read ingredient lists carefully before purchasing supplements.
Further research is needed to explore how and what supplements can potentially help mesenchymal stem cells, but there is no current information to show that these supplements could not help promote the growth of mesenchymal stem cells.
Gut bacteria have been a suspect in a number of brain disorders like Parkinson’s and autism since at least the mid-2000s. While more research continues to be done on this topic, gut microbes continue to be a prime suspect for some impacts on human health.
While research has focused mostly on how gut bacteria affects adults — including its impact on mental health — a new study suggests that gut microbes may be a potential factor in the risk of brain damage for premature babies.
Researchers at the University of Vienna discovered that premature babies with an overgrowth of the Klebsiella bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract were at higher risk for developing neurological problems at birth.
Because premature babies have not had enough time to complete the development process in utero, they run a much higher risk of having unbalanced gut bacteria. Because of this, certain microbes may proliferate while others, which would typically counterbalance the other entities, are crowded out.
Because researchers usually found these overgrowths in the gastrointestinal tracts of premature babies before observing neurological disorders, it may indicate that there is time to treat this imbalance of gut bacteria before it can impact the baby’s brain and nervous system.
While this study was focused specifically on how gut bacteria affected the brains of premature babies, it adds yet another example of ways that gut microbes might have an impact on human bodies as a whole.
There are several tests currently available that will let you test your gut bacteria at home, allowing you to identify any imbalances you might be experiencing. Combined with probiotic therapy, it may be possible to not only relieve many gastrointestinal symptoms but also to resolve or better control problems in other areas of your body as well.
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