Multiple sclerosis

Does cannabis work in multiple sclerosis?

Cannabis does not affect the course of the disease but can help treat certain symptoms. Evidence shows medicinal cannabis can work for some people to relieve muscle spasms and pain.  Neurological studies have confirmed the effectiveness of cannabinoids in the treatment of so-called central neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is a type of pain that occurs in parts of the body where there is some kind of sensory disturbance, such as tingling or numbness. Such pain is sometimes very severe and difficult to alleviate with classical analgesics. In such a situation, medical cannabis may be one of the therapeutic options.

Is there a multiple sclerosis diet?

People with MS need a balanced, low-fat and high-fibre diet, which is similar to the Mediterranean diet.  It is recommended that people with MS limit animal-based fats (meat, high-fat dairy products), and opt for fish and nut-based fat sources (olive oil, avocado oil, soy and almond butter) which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

 It is also recommended that people with MS keep vitamin D levels in the upper range of normal. Based on laboratory and other clinical data, the neurologist will evaluate whether additional vitamin D intake is necessary. The richest source of vitamin D is fish, especially salmon, sardines, and tuna. Sunlight is important for the production of vitamin D in the body, but it must be kept in mind that the sunlight exposure in the summer can also have adverse effects due to consequent elevation of body temperature.

Why should exposure to the high temperature be avoided?

In most people with MS, increased body temperature can lead to deterioration of existing symptoms, and in some cases, new symptoms may occur. How these phenomena occur is not fully understood,  but some studies have shown that fever makes it difficult to conduct impulses in fibres that are already damaged by the disease. Therefore, people with multiple sclerosis are generally being advised to avoid any exposure to high temperature. This means that in the summer, exposure to elevated outdoor temperatures should be avoided. In the case of any inflammatory disease accompanied by fever, medication aimed at lowering the temperature should be taken. It is also important to keep in mind that intense physical activity raises the body temperature.

Are there associations of people with multiple sclerosis in Croatia?

There are several associations of people with multiple sclerosis in Croatia, and they are united in the Association of Multiple Sclerosis Societies of Croatia.