Research in the past few years has told us a lot regarding the patterns of multiple sclerosis and who's at risk for getting the disease and who is not.
Still scientists and doctors are not exactly sure as to the main triggers but they are a whole lot closer on finding out how this mysterious disease works.
There are a number of risk factors that have become prominent in the last few years and I'm sure you've heard of them. In fact, some of these factors have been linked to other diseases as well.
Below you'll find a list of factors that put you at risk for getting Multiple Sclerosis. But remember, these are risks and no true determinant that you will be walking into the neurologist tomorrow for your first CAT scan.
#1 Risk Factor is just being a woman.
Multiple Sclerosis is more prominent for woman with a ratio of 3.2 to 1. Doctors and scientists are just not sure why woman in their last trimester of pregnancy virtually loose all their symptoms of multiple sclerosis. And if this is the case why cannot doctors use their knowledge of female hormones, estriol, progesterone and prolactin to develop new ways of treating MS patients?
Sorry, readers I'm not a woman. So this risk factor definitely does not apply to me. I don't think I'd like to take a female hormone, I very much like being a man and feel confident about my sexuality.
#2 Risk Factor Vitamin D Deficiencies
The Journal of the Medical American Association concludes in a study that researchers found individuals with the highest levels of vitamin D blood levels had a 62 percent chance of developing multiple sclerosis than those who had much lower levels. Previous research has showed that people living in northern states/regions have an increased incidence of Multiple Sclerosis.
I take every opportunity to get out in the sun and expose my skin to those vitamin D rays, as well I take a vitamin D supplement advised by my neurologist.
#3 Northern European Heritage
Individuals who come from Northern European decent are more likely to acquire multiple sclerosis. Increases in MS are seen in countries like Europe, Southern Canada, and the Northern United States. Researchers think that the disease may be inherited, but of course the other environmental factors need to be present as well.
My heritage is German; my grandparents are immigrants so this would also agree with researchers belief that heritage would play a significant factor in getting this disease.
#4 Links between Multiple Sclerosis and Epstein Barr Virus. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found more possible information that there is a link between MS and the Epstein Barr Virus. EBV is a herpes virus that is very common among viruses in the world. Infection usually occurs during childhood. EPV is also very well known to be linked to other autoimmune diseases as well such as lupus.
I've been tested for EPV, and been found not to have it. So, no correlation here folks.
In conclusion from my own experience is that these factors increase your potential for getting MS but by no way are they engraved in stone that you will get the disease.