Allergies - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Allergies

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There is no evidence that an allergic reaction to a specific environmental allergen is involved in triggering MS. Therefore, there is no scientific rationale for the anti-allergy treatment regimens that are offered by some alternative medicine therapists to treat MS. Some of these treatments involve avoiding certain food groups or taking medication directed against a supposed allergen. They might actually cause harm by creating a nutritional deficiency, and should therefore be discussed with a knowledgeable health-care professional.

Allergic reactions to many things in our environment, including synthetic chemical allergens, are commonplace. This has led people to suppose that such allergens may also be triggering agents in MS. MS is generally considered an "autoimmune" disease, one in which the body's immune system is directed against itself. Just what part or parts of the central nervous system the immune cells attack in people with MS has not yet been precisely identified, nor has the trigger that initiates this autoimmune process been identified.

Since allergies are common in the general population, allergies can coexist in a person with MS. Such allergies should be given appropriate medical attention, and persons with serious allergies should consider wearing medical alert bracelets or necklaces. Maintaining good general health, including management of allergies, is a positive approach to living with multiple sclerosis.

MedicAlert Foundation International
2323 Colorado Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382
Tel: 888-633-4298; 209-668-3333 from outside the U.S.

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