Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Connection Between Multiple Sclerosis and the Endocrine System

We have only to apply common sense to see the connection between hormone levels and MS. There's an obvious relationship between age, hormones, and the progression of MS <>:

•    MS is approximately four times more prevalent in women than in men. Ovaries shut down at menopause and testicles don't, so women lose much more of their hormone levels (and much earlier) than men do.
•    The mean age of onset of MS is 32. Hormone production in the ovaries drops significantly in the mid-30s, closely mimicking the typical time MS starts.
•    The increased levels of sex hormones produced during pregnancy are associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of MS, while symptoms often worsen postpartum, when there's a significant drop in hormone levels.
•    The first clinical symptoms of MS develop after puberty, when hormone issues begin.
•    The disease moves to the "secondary progressive" phase, characterized by chronic, progressively worsening symptoms, in the same general time frame as hormone levels decline. Of MS cases, 50% become progressive within 10 to 15 years, and an additional 40% do within 25 years of onset. MS generally progresses faster in those who experience their first symptoms after age 40. 
•    The symptoms of MS are also well-known symptoms of hormone deficiency. Look at the list and then at the inhabitants of your local retirement home: numbness and tingling; chronic fatigue; bladder and bowel problems; balance problems and decreased coordination; vision abnormalities; cognitive impairment; sleep problems; gastrointestinal reflux; emotional problems; mood swings; depression; sexual dysfunction; muscle stiffness and cramping; and neuralgia. Do you see the similarities? Neither of us has any hormones left.

All this, albeit anecdotal, evidence shows a clear connection between hormones and MS. Fortunately we do not have to go on supposition and detective work alone. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of well-documented studies that support this hypothesis. "The MS Solution" by Kathryn R. Simpson, M.S., looks at these studies and the role that individual hormones play in neurological health.


Lisa said...

In 2006, Laura Lawes was diagnosed with Multiple Scelrosis and given a life expectancy of one year. Three years later, she was not only living strong, but she gave birth to her first son. It was called "a miracle birth". These miracles are possible today, because of the work organizations, such as yourself, have done. Here, at (a website dedicated to disease preventions and treatments) we are inspired by stories such as this, and would like to join you in fighting this cause. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. Lets create more of these miracles; together.If you want more information on that please email me back with the subject line as your URL.

Ashok said...

some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional functioning.Sleep Apnea is one of the major sleeping problems. Sleep Apnea is basically a condition that affects most people causing them to stop breathing for around 10-20 seconds as they sleep. The person who suffers from sleep apnea cannot able to find the problem since it occurs only during sleep. It can be noticed by the family member or the partner who sleeps nearer.

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Anonymous said...

i am 35 and my tsh was high...i did a google search for ms and endocrine becasue this probably means i will now have more than one condition to manage (per my doc) was difficult for me to apply your ideas for myself at first, having been diagnosed at 20 and once diagnosed, being able to recognize symptoms in myself since 11...but i guess, just as my hair went from straight to curly with pre-puberty, maybe my ms was triggered by this very early horomones

Anonymous said...

I was 23years old and diagnosed with fertility problems, low progesterone. After treatment I gave birth. Shortly afterwards I was diagnosed with MS. I been on many treatments but none have helped. Is there a connection between the low hormone levels and my MS? said...

Hi Kathy,

Healthline just launched a video campaign for MS called "You've Got This" where individuals living with MS can record a short video to give hope and inspiration those recently diagnosed with MS.

You can visit the homepage and check out videos from the campaign here:

We will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to the National MS Society, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos we'll receive and the more Healthline can donate to MS research, support groups, treatment programs, and more.

We would appreciate if you could help spread the word about this by sharing the You've Got This with friends and followers or include the campaign as a resource on your page:

Please let me know if this is possible and if you have any questions. And, if you know anyone that would be interested in submitting a video, please encourage them to do so.

Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

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