New research has examined how your gut microbiome impacts the risk and progression of multiple sclerosis.
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine, and UConn Health found specific gut microbes are more active in MS patients.
Some of these microbes also change in proportion according to a persons diet.
Dr Laura Piccio from Washington University said: “This is the first study using an integrated approach to analyse the interplay between diet, gut microbiome, the immune system and metabolism and their contribution to disease pathogenesis and progression in people with MS.
“This approach can lead to the identification of relevant networks that could be manipulated for disease prevention or therapeutic intervention”
Their analysis found MS patients ate a larger amount of meat on average than the general population.
MS patients who consumed more meat also had more severe symptoms in some cases.
The gut bacteria showed consuming meat decreased the populations of gut microbes that digest vegetables.
This does not mean that consuming meat causes multiple sclerosis or increases your risk.
A large number of correlative factors have been identified that influence your risk outside of individual risk factors.
It has been found more commonly in temperate climates at northern latitudes.
Some ethnic groups are believed to have higher risk.
Changes to our gut microbes have been linked to multiple other conditions.
Some researchers have found that changes in our gut can influence the progression of conditions such as depression.
Gut microbes are able to carry signals from our brain and can release hormones that impact our brain in turn.
The guts intricate connection to our nervous system has led to our gut microbiome being referred to as a ‘second brain.’
Multiple sclerosis can manifest as either a gradual progression of symptoms or a series of escalating episodes.
Many of the symptoms, such as fatigue or muscle stiffness and spasms can occur as a result of many other conditions.
If you believe you may be developing MS your doctor can refer you to a specialist in nervous system conditions.
Diagnosis involves multiple tests examining for physical issues, such as difficulty balancing or coordinating your limbs, alongside internal scans using an MRI machine or an analysis of your spinal fluid.
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