Friday, July 10, 2009
Have been wondering for some time now whether my mum letting me smoke helped contribute to my getting MS.
Richie sent me a link to Jen's blog MS Strength
It is very interesting and it makes sense that apart from the risk of cancer there is also a risk of damage to the immune system.
Scary to think smoking can increase the possibility of getting MS, I bet that would make it a lot less of a sexy thing to do.
Think that would take the excitement out of smoking unless you have a thing about dicing with death you would not want to carry on smoking.
I found this online:
‘’Cigarette smoking and the risk for MS.
Researchers studied the relationship between cigarette smoking and the risk for developing MS in 22,312 people between the ages of 40 and 47 living in Hordaland, Norway. Information was gathered by using questionnaires and a physical examination. Detailed information about smoking included current and previous smoking history and the age smoking started.
There were 87 people who reported having MS. All patients with MS who were current smokers and most who had smoked in the past had started smoking before they developed MS.
Most people started smoking about 15 years before they developed MS. The risk for developing MS was nearly twice as high in people who currently smoked or had ever smoked than in nonsmokers. When men and women were evaluated separately, the risk for developing MS was nearly three times greater for men and one and a half times greater for women who smoked than in nonsmokers. Smoking also increased the risk for heart attacks, angina, and asthma for both men and women.
How could smoking increase the risk for MS? Smoking causes damage to the cells that form the lining of blood vessels. When these cells, called endothelial cells, are damaged, a number of things can happen. The immune system normally fights off bad agents like bacteria and viruses. When endothelial cells are damaged the immune system can become overactive and turn against the cells of our own bodies.
This is called autoimmune disease, and MS is an autoimmune disease. Endothelial cells form a very tight barrier in the brain blood vessels to prevent toxic substances from entering the brain. If endothelial cells are damaged, the brain blood vessels may become leaky. Toxic substances may pass into the brain.
What does all this mean to me? The Surgeon General has been warning everyone for years that smoking cigarettes may be hazardous to our health. Smoking increases the risk for cancer, heart and lung disease, and stroke. MS may be added to that list. How many reasons does a person need to quit smoking? The evidence is obviously mounting.
Cigarette smoking and multiple sclerosis (MS): Yet another reason to quit.''
Robin L. Brey, MD
The other element that is important is vitamin D which is obtained from sunlight, this is why there are fewer cases of MS in the tropics.
Wish we had not moved from Trinidad then I would have got more than enough sunlight and my mum might not have introduced me to smoking.
I feel that I have been caught in a pincer movement between smoking and lack of sunlight all year around.
It is quite worrying the idea that I might have somehow contributed to my getting MS, perhaps not caused it directly but indirectly by giving the disease the conditions it needs.
Find that idea very creepy indeed.
But what about if it is something environmental that is causing the huge increase in cases of MS.
What if it is the pesticides we use so freely in the agriculture and animal husbandry.
Had a look and found this and other links:
‘’Pesticides can cause brain damage and trigger conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, according to scientists.
A landmark study claims that chemicals routinely used by farmers in the UK and around the world can result in neurological diseases.
The controversial findings will be challenged by the agro-chemical industry, which insists exposure levels for humans are well within safety limits.’’
‘’Research suggests link between pesticides and brain disease Researchers at the University of North Dakota say preliminary research shows a link between pesticide exposure and neurological diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Researchers say they've also identified a surprisingly efficient way pesticides may get into the human body.
Researchers at the University of North Dakota are quick to point out these are preliminary results -- covering one year of a planned four-year study.
But Dr. Patrick Carr says there's clear evidence pesticide exposure at relatively low doses affect brain cells.
"Some areas of the brain displayed what I would call physical changes -- in other words, a loss of neurons in particular regions of the brain," says Carr. "In other regions of the brain you wouldn't notice a change in the number of cells present there, but now the cells that are present there are expressing chemicals in different amounts, compared to normal rats."
As an example, Carr found cells responsible for production of a substance called myelin were damaged or destroyed. Myelin is a substance made up of fats and proteins that encloses nerves. It helps transmit signals along the nerves. Loss of myelin causes nerve damage in neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. ‘’
All very worrying and not something that can be changed quickly however one thing we can change is smoking having read several of the articles about the link between MS and smoking I would like to strongly urge people to stop smoking.
I find the link between MS and smoking very scary.
If you do smoke, this is the time to promise yourself you will free yourself from this expensive and unhealthy habit.
Worries me that my smoking cigarettes could have caused me to have MS makes me feel quite ill.
The thought that this extreme level of disability is all down to cigarettes that my mother encouraged me to smoke is quite horrific.
I would like to encourage you to give up you owe it to yourself to do this now.
It is important to protect yourself and others from the harmful effects of smoking.
Sorry to alarm people but it was on my mind for awhile now and when I saw the piece Jen had written I knew that I wanted to have a look on the internet for links between Smoking and MS.