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What is MS?

Updated March 31, 2018.

MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis, which basically means "many scars." The scars develop in the central nervous system (CNS), composed of the brain and spinal cord, as the result of an attack from the body's own immune system.

In a normal body, an attack of the CNS would still be a pretty awful thing, but the body would fight the attacking agents, clear away the resulting plaque, then begin to repair the damage. Sclerosis is a type of scar tissue that is atypical of a cleanly healed injury.

In people with MS, the immune system is stuck in fighting mode, commonly thought to be the result of high levels of inflammation in the body. This keeps the CNS stuck in defense mode, preventing normal healing of the damage. The attack is not the result of a typical virus or bacterial infection, it's actually the body's own immune system doing the damage. This process is referred to as "autoimmune" (immune system attacking the self). Dr. Stephen Gundry refers to this process as "friendly fire." There are a hundred or more different autoimmune diseases. Some of the most common ones are Graves' Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, Chron's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

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How I Got MS

May 10, 2016
Updated October 14, 2021

In the prevailing theory about how one gets MS, both genetic predisposition and specific environmental factors are required to trigger the body into an autoimmune state. Once in autoimmunity, the body will remain in that state indefinitely.

Many doctors believe that most people will never need to worry about getting MS, no matter what environmental factors they may face. Nonetheless, no simple test yet exists (although, one is being worked on) to know if you have a genetic predisposition, so controlling your environment is a good idea, no matter who you are. About 2.8 million people worldwide have MS.1 In the US, nearly 1 million people have MS 5, or about 1 in 333 people.7 Canada has an estimated 90,000 people living with the disease with an average of 12 people diagnosed daily.2

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