New study to test the impact of chocolate on fatigue and other multiple sclerosis symptoms is underway.
Living with multiple sclerosis is a difficult prospect at best. Commonly known as MS, this disease affects the nerves of the spinal cord and the brain. This potentially disabling disease affects millions of people across the globe. In MS, the protective sheath or myelin that covers the nerve fibers is attacked by the body’s immune system that considers it a threat instead of an important part of the body. Since the myelin plays an important role in the transmission of information from the rest of your body to the brain, MS causes communication problems and may eventually damage the nerves permanently.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis. The symptoms of this disease vary widely, and often make diagnosis difficult. Some people with MS may go through remission periods without the existence of any new symptoms, while many others who suffer from severe MS may find that they have lost the ability to walk independently within a few weeks of onset. Some of the common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include muscular weakness, tingling and numbing in the body, blurred vision, and muscular stiffness, weakness in an arm or leg, clumsiness and a lack of coordination, urinary problems, as well as coherent thinking problems.
Most people diagnosed with MS begin to show early signs and symptoms of the disease between the ages of 20 and 40 years. In most cases, the symptoms tend to cyclically come and go, while others notice symptoms that linger but do not worsen. Furthermore, no two people have the exact same symptom set when it comes to multiple sclerosis. It is possible to have one symptom that goes away for years or have a few symptoms that worsen dramatically within a few weeks or months.
One of the most common multiple sclerosis symptoms that is experienced by 8 out of 10 people who are diagnosed with MS is fatigue. Most patients feel excessively fatigued by mid-afternoon, and suffer through weak muscles, sleepiness, impeded thinking, etc. In general, your fatigue would be a direct result of the amount of work you have done in a given day. But in the case of MS, it does not matter if you have worked hard or had a restful day, you end up feeling fatigued all the same. Many people with MS complain of feeling fatigued even after a long night of good sleep.
Even though there is no cure as yet, there are a number of research studies that are constantly working toward boosting the speed of recovery after MS attacks, changing the course of the condition, and managing symptoms.
According to a study at the Oxford Brooks University that has been funded by MS Society, chocolate may go a long way in reducing the symptoms of MS, particularly reducing fatigue. In this study, participants who have been diagnosed with MS will be given a hot chocolate drink every day. The control group of 40 participants will be given a hot chocolate drink that is full of flavonoids. The other half will be consuming hot chocolate drinks with low levels of flavonoids. UK’s MS Society and the researchers have cause to believe that chocolate that is high in flavonoids can make a visible difference to the fatigue levels of those with MS.
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