Scientific evidence suggests that there is a causal link between obesity and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Obesity, particularly during childhood or early adulthood, may increase the risk of developing MS. The connection between MS and childhood obesity is particularly strong in girls. There are a few suggested explanations, including the tendency of overweight girls to go through puberty earlier and having higher hormone levels around that time. Another hypothesis is that excess fatty tissue may stimulate inflammation and intensifies the likelihood of MS development.
Obesity can aggravate some MS symptoms and increase the risk of developing additional health conditions (co- morbidity). People with MS who are overweight are more likely to have higher disability scores, worse bladder problems, and musculoskeletal pain. On top of that, obesity is linked to faster disease progression and a higher relapse rate.
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce relapse risk and pain symptoms. A Registered Dietitian (RD) can assist in choosing the right program that meets individual needs and personal preferences. Making healthy lifestyle choices can improve the quality of life and the general outlook.
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