Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by darude, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. darude

    darude New Member

    MS diagnosis rate soaring for women
    Updated Mon. Oct. 30 2006 11:30 PM ET

    A new study has pinpointed an alarming trend that suggests women with multiple sclerosis now outnumber men in Canada by a ratio of more than three to one.

    The researchers, led by Dr. George Ebers of Oxford University, examined Canadian data on multiple sclerosis sufferers. They also found that this gender ratio has been rising for at least 50 years.

    More than 1,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed this year in Canada, and an estimated 55,000 to 75,000 people are currently living with the disease.

    The Canadian research shows:

    In 1931, for every one man diagnosed with MS, 1.8 women received the diagnosis.
    Around 1940, the picture starts to change. The rate of MS cases in men stays relatively the same, but in women, it rises.
    And by 1980, for every one man diagnosed, more than three women develop MS.
    The team that conducted the research into the Canadian multiple sclerosis data is speculating that an unknown contributing factor has emerged in the last half century to make MS a female-dominated disease. The findings will appear in the November edition of the Lancet's neurology journal.

    "Since there is no indication that multiple sclerosis in men has decreased, it seems that the sex ratio change is determined by a preferential increase in affected women," the study says.

    Canada has among the highest rates in the world, as do many nations in northern Europe, prompting speculation genetics and geography may increase the risk for people who live in countries far from the equator.

    There is growing acceptance of the theory that a vitamin D deficiency due to low sun exposure may be a contributing factor in the development of the often-disabling disease.

    If there is a link between vitamin and multiple sclerosis, this could suggest it is a result of less time spent outdoors.

    Other possible factors that could be contributing to the trend include the changing role of women in the work force, dietary habits, increase in smoking among women, use of oral contraceptives, and changes in the timing of childbearing years.

    Given that the trend in the sex ratio of immigrant patients was similar to that of Canadian-born patients, the researchers believe that this trend is mirrored worldwide.

    Previous research found that having an older brother or sister with MS does not protect younger siblings from developing the disease, suggesting that a genetic predisposition and other factors are likely behind the onset of multiple sclerosis.

    This findings cast into doubt the theory that children whose immune systems are exposed to infections introduced by older siblings are less likely to develop the potentially debilitating disease.

    The study found that babies concieved during the summers, when their mothers have higher levels of vitamin D in their blood are less likely to develop MS later in life.

    "Some of the risk appears to be gestational, and very early in life," Dr. Ebers said.

    This suggests MS may be preventable, if scientists can figure out what's going on, and if it's as simple as a woman having adequate levels of Vitamin D before or during pregnancy or early childhood.

    Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease caused by inflammation and patchy destruction of the protective myelin covering the central nervous system. Those with the progressive disease tend to go through sporadic periods of attack followed by recovery.

    The cause of MS is not known, but most researchers believe it is an autoimmune disease, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Age of onset among sufferers is usually between 20 and 40, but MS has also been diagnosed in children.

    Multiple sclerosis initially may cause numbness and tingling in the extremities and temporary loss of vision in one eye. As the disease develops, sufferers may experience a range of symptoms, including extreme fatigue, balance and co-ordination problems, muscle stiffness and weakness, and speech and cognitive difficulties

  2. Seriously though, just having been in chat rooms, message boards, etc...I'm not too suprised. What's most disturbing to me, is the AGES they are diagnosing the disease nowadays. It's unreal.

    Australia reporting a case of a TWO year old!?? How could you tell!? Possibly optic nerve damage? Paralysis? The more serious symptoms that could be seen, rather than just voiced...and many 8,9, etc yr olds..

    A friend of mine in Seattle with MS, who's mother also has it, began giving a 9 year old boy his weekly shot of Avonex, after getting to know him and his mother at their support group...he was dx'd at 8.

    Can you even imagine? What would it be like for a 8,9 year old boy or girl to try a support group with their parent, when they'd be lucky to find even a teenager or two awful, frightening, confusing...sad..

    My last 2 yrs in an MSchat room (daily, and nearly ALL day) the rate of 'newcomers' was alarming, and well noticed by all.

    We all wondered....was it becoming more common....was it due to better* diagnostic equipment, are they catching it earlier now (of course they are *somewhat*, since many years ago, the test was the "hot water (in a tub) test" basically.....and not all my friends seem to get ill/weak/temp paralysis from hot water, tanning beds, the sun/heat....but, before MRI' was symptoms, history of symptoms, monitoring, and....a tub of hot water, or guessing. Put em on steroids, if they improve....MS....(once blood tests ruled out Lupus, etc..)

    I think it's definitely 'spreading' somehow, studies have shown countries that once didn't have it, or barely, and that's really no longer. There are still countries with lower rates, but, they used to think it didn't happen to Japanese, and diet was to thank...etc..

    I also think it IS due to better knowledge/vigilance by doctors, and better diagnostics,

    Gosh, and we women already* get the PMS, periods, childbirth, .......wanted "equal rights" now we're dominating disease ratios.... :-(

    Thank you for the article...I definitely believe it.

    My neuro has said most of what the article named, as factors, genetics, environment, viral trigger(possibly), etc and if you have "all" of the pieces of the puzzle, so to speak, you get MS, if you don't...then you don't get it..

    But, he says it is still a huge mystery of course..

    (he also said in a fowl mood one day, when my mother asked, "do you think they'll ever find a cure for fibromyalgia? "NO." My mom raised her eyebrows and said "NEVER?" he said "NO." and I forget their discussion on why he felt that way....I just remember he said it usually takes 4-5yrs to 'adjust to it' and that was about it. HA! Can't adjust to something that seems always changing, never-ending...)

    He's for the most part a very very smart man, and nice too, but boy you ought to runnnnnnnn not walk the other way when he's in a baddddd mood. Which I've only witnessed maybe 3 times....enough to make me wanna slug him though. EH, what's new, though?

    Again, thanks, I enjoyed reading a very updated report.

    Take care.

  3. darude

    darude New Member

    there is a study of women age 40-50 with MS as t here is a huge jump in MS. Now if they can find out wha they were exposed to maye will be onto something
  4. that is definitely true. I will say that the gender gap didn't seem *that* large, but, mind you, this was a chat room of maybe a cpl hundred members+

    But, many many times we had women over 40, some 55, and grandmothers, NEWLY diagnosed. All you can do is scratch your head....

    We also had older men coming in,

    and my goodness, the teenagers! It seemed like they all just stormed in at once, and it was heartbreaking, one girl in particular, was diagnosed with an 'extremely' progressive form, dx'd in Feb of one year, and already gone through all kinds of drugs, then put on two different types of chemo, nothing could slow it down. AWFUL Her case baffled doctors at John Hopkin's, & other well known university hospitals, MS centers, etc.

    That poor girl didn't even have TIME to grasp one emotion before another would hit her. She'd have unpredictable bouts of 'smarting off' to people & being hateful in the room quite often, she made up different names and would come in cursing the room, calling names, etc.. then, she'd be her calm, chatting self, but always with a snide undertone, and ocasionally she'd be serious, and depressed.

    Some of the older women diagnosed (40's 50's etc) would speak to her mom on the phone, even, about her, her mother didn't know what to do.....I can't imagine anyone would know how to react or deal with it, going downhill in 3 short months. I know her anger was just being scared to death. People who have "benign" cases (a lot of doctors are trying to get rid of that term, but, I do have some friends, diagnosed as that) have fears, so, to be 18, and seemingly FLYING downhill at warp speed....well, we can only try to imagine.

    When you SHOULD be worrying about high school dances, & going out, and instead, these teenagers, boys, and girls, 13, 14, 15, etc yrs old are thinking 'I can't, I have to do my shot tonight, and I'm gonna feel like crap afterwards"

    Parkinson's seems to be hitting earlier, as well...and I think I'd read and seen on T.V. quite a while back, that alzheimers can strike even in 50's. I know that my cousin Mike was dx'd with Parkinson's at age 28, and Michael J Fox wasn't much older than that when diagnosed..

    When my cousin's doctor diagnosed him, he told him, he'd rarely seen in in people under 55, and certainly not in their 20's.

    What in the world is it? Food? additives? ??? I mean, they say juvenile diabetes has tripled in the past 2 or 3 decades.. autism, adhd... my doctor strongly believes the link between celiac's/wheat/food allergies and autism & adhd....he said my *physical* symptoms match children with autism's physical ailments. I'm supposed to be on gluten-free, casein-free diet, and at least 30% of my problems are better eating that way, but once I fell of the wagon, I just have not been able to get back on.

    Also, though, he believes a vaccination my case, i had something like 19? within 3yrs.. I have a lot of contributing factors, some obvious, some researchers suspect, but not proven, some we just know contributed..

    I still wonder about my MS diagnosis (I don't know how many doctors have to say it----maybe just if my *treating* neuro said "YES you absolutely have MS" I would say ok, but, he hasn't....other doctors did..but, they were at Methodist hospital in indianapolis...neurosurgeons..I still just....*shrug* scratch head..

    I may have another brain MRI soon, as I NEED to see my neuro, & hubby's pushin for it, and my *spine* needs looked at again, might as well throw brain in. I just got burned out on ALL doctors & quit for a while, just my integrative med doc, and pain doc down the hall from him, but.....everything just piled up, instead of going away, lol.

    MS-wise, though...numbness, tingling are gone, 99%+ of the time now...but now having trouble swallowing, always cognitive problems, & my trigeminal neuralgia, muscle weakness striking out of nowhere.... I dunno.

    ~A rose (disease) by any other name, would suck just as bad~ :O

    Don't care if they just lump all my illnesses into one and just call it....??? Mad-cow-bird-chicken-flu-disease, as long as they get me functional or even get me better...

    Praying for a cure for all the diseases..
  5. darude

    darude New Member

    For input
  6. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    Please dont attack me 4 this...but....
    could it be a lyme epidemic we are experiencing??????????
    CFS/Fibro/MS/Lyme all have similar signs. There is not 1 with a solid test....and Lyme knows no age limits. Its unlikely all these youngsters are experiencing MS! And CFS / Fibro..well geez i feel like thats just a pacifier these doctors are putting in our mouths to get us to stop bitchin about our health for no good reason (according to all our negative lab tests).
    No known cause? No treatment?
    Heres my story. Im went downhill fast.
    My list of symptoms musta reached over 25.
    Seen 12 diff doctors with only an elevated candida test to go off of and none of them believed in that since i didnt have an immune compromizing disease.
    Finally diagnosed in Sep 06 w/ "CFS and Fibro".
    I continued to suffer with MANY seemingly unrelated symptoms....I just couldnt believe this was CFS/Fibro and that i was gonna have to grin and bear it for the rest of my life! No nononono.
    I just recently saw a neurologist. He noted that there was suspision enough to schedule an MRI ( weakness in body but particularly my left side, dizziness, vision probs and head pressure) among many others.
    I havent had my MRI yet so i cant tell u what the results are but i feel like he's thinking of MS as a possibility.
    For those that dont know....MS simply is a name which means white lesions. Now....there may be more than these but i know of 3 disorders that can lead to white lesions in the brain. CFS/Fibro, MS and Lyme.
    After all this I got a Lyme test done at my doctors office....a basic lyme test probably checking for short term exposure and probably not testing bands. It was negative. I was then advised to go to the best lab...Igenex which is near me i did. POSITIVE. on both the IGG and IGM (but not by CDC standars) .
    Anyhow.....I feel strongly that many of us are getting the run around and I just urge u to rule out Lyme for yourself. Its a big one and if it turns out negative you can at least scratch it off your list.
    But you may be suprised.
    Another thing i noticed having so many symptoms is that each specialist has their own circle of disorders to look if i go to a rheumatologist...they will suspect CFS, a neurologist will suspect MS, your primary physician will naturally write a prescription for Prozac claiming depression. I can go on and on. BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE...STAY POSITIVE...STAY KNOWLEDGEABLE...BELIEVE IN YOURSELF EVEN WHEN THOSE AROUND YOU MAY NOT. I havent started treatment for anything yet..including Lyme..but that is what i am working on now and I pray only good health will come.
    Test for Lyme.
  7. darude

    darude New Member

    Intesting isn't it. Actually there are a lot of Diseases that cause the lesions some worse than MS and some that can be reversed.
  8. wanderingbluedragon

    wanderingbluedragon New Member

    Multiple Sclerosis actually means Multiple lesions. They can be in the brain or in the spine. I have read that it can take up to two attacks before lesions start showing up and that these can be years apart. A lot of people are being diagnosed before complaining about symptoms because it is caught on an MRI for something else. I don't buy in to the Lyme disease thing because even though they are similar, so is Hypothyroidism and most people with CFS measure on the low normal side. That is why one of the first tests they do is a thyroid test. They also perform a sed rate test and ANA test because they are trying to rule out Rhuematoid arthritis, which is also very similar. I do think that all of these diseases are related though. I truly believe that something in our immune system is going "wako" for lack of a better word. I just hope they figure it out soon for all of our sakes