A potentially disabling disease, multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. It attacks the myelin that covers nerve fibers, which then causes the brain to communicate poorly with the rest of a person’s body. Symptoms of the disease vary widely. It affects both men and women but tends to affect men more severely. There is no cure, but there are treatment options that can help to manage it.

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis in Men

Chronic inflammation and nerve damage related to multiple sclerosis may develop for a number of reasons. While there is no exact cause, research suggests that it is caused by a combination of environmental factors and genetics.

Reproductive hormones may play a role in how the disease progresses. Some studies indicate that it is worse in men because they wait longer to discuss symptoms with their doctors.

When left unchecked, MS can progress more severely, especially in terms of MS hug triggers.

There are several risk factors to consider as well. Infections such as Epstein-Barr are more likely to cause a man to develop multiple sclerosis for example. Other risk factors include:

  • Genetics – People who have a parent or sibling that has MS are more likely to develop the condition by up to 3%.
  • Geographical Location – Environmental factors are a determining factor as well. The further someone lives from the equator, the more likely he is to develop the disease.
  • Low Vitamin D Levels – Vitamin D is important for immune function. Low levels of it in the body may increase a man’s chance of developing MS.
  • Obesity – Some researchers believe that childhood or adolescent obesity makes it more likely that someone will develop MS later in life.
  • Smoking – People who smoke are more than twice as likely to develop the disease than those who do not smoke.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis in Men

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Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary greatly from person to person, so it’s important to have an idea of the entire scope of possibilities. Early signs of MS typically include vision problems, numbness or tingling in the limbs, or the “MS Hug,” which is a squeezing sensation in the torso.

There are a variety of other symptoms to consider as well. People who have MS may feel persistent aches or pains without any known cause or have involuntary twitches or spasms, especially in the limbs.

MS often causes balance and mobility issues, incontinent or bowel problems, or fatigue. Other symptoms may be frequent dizziness, brain fog, and anxiety or depression.

Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis in Men

While there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, there are treatment options that can ease symptoms and improve a man’s quality of life. To date, there are more than a dozen medications meant to modify the disease and reduce its activity.

These are available as oral medications, injectable medications, or IV monoclonal antibody treatments. They are FDA-approved for treating relapsing forms of the disease. Many people also take medications specifically to ease symptoms such as fatigue, muscle spasms, and depression or anxiety.

Medications are often used in combination with therapy, massage, and other treatments.

Outlook For Men Who Have Multiple Sclerosis

Although nobody is sure why it does, multiple sclerosis seems to affect men more severely than it does women. There are other factors that may worsen the disease as well, including its progressive course, early relapses, spinal or brain lesions, and minimal recovery between relapses.

Early treatment is essential for delaying the progress of the disease, which means that it is important for men to talk to their doctors about any symptoms they notice as soon as possible.

Multiple sclerosis is a serious disease, but it does not need to be the end of your quality of life. If you notice symptoms, talk to your doctor right away. This way, if you do have MS, you can be treated early and maintain as much quality of life as possible.