Avatar universal

All in the MIND?

I was diagnosed w/ MS when I was 15. I am now 22. Steroids and migrane meds were the only formal treatment I've had ever since.But that was only briefly after I was 1st diagnosed. I haven't taken any med since then because I haven't had any significant problems.
I've been extremely active. I play college football and I feel very healthy. But in the past week, my symtoms have been the most active it has since being diagnosed.I've been extremely lightheaded, loss of balance, vertigo, and feelings of numbness on my left side.  The only time that I don't feel these symtoms is after using marijuana. Should I continue using this illegal substance?
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147426 tn?1317265632
Hi, and welcome to the forum.  You have been diagnosed for 7 years now, and it seems that you and your doctors have been presuming you have "Benign" MS.  There is a lot of current research that is showing that as many of 60% of people with "Benign" MS actually still have a large amount of damage occuring.  thus, the actual numbers of people that have MS that will STAY benign appears to be only about 6 or 7%  One of the things that has been shown by recent studies is that, although many people have little physical disability, upwards of 29% will have a real reductive in their cognitive abilites - basicall;y brain power.

So, here we tend to encourage people - especially young people to rediscuss taking one of the MS meds.  I, personally am NOT a believer that MS is ever benign.

However, that is not what you asked.  You asked about treating the little day-to-day symtpoms with pot.  Opera is correct when he mentions that moderate to heavy long-term use is associated also with cognitive losses.  If you are having enough symptoms from the MS that you need to take something, I believe you should investigate more vigorous treatment for the disease.

I do advocate allowing pot to be used medicinally when other treatments are not effective enough.  But, I think you should tell your neurologist about these new symptoms, to see if he/she thinks you are having a new relapse.  This might require a new steroid infusion or might spark the discussion of starting a med.  I think, as someone who believes strong in having medical marijuana available, that using it for minor symptoms like dizziness and numbness is not justified.  But, I am not in your shoes.  It does sound like treatment of the MS could be a lot more aggressive in your case.  Remember, that you have another 60 years or so of life ahead of you.  

MS is known to do ongoing damage to the brain and spinal cord, whether or not you are having symptoms - in all but the very few lucky ones.  60 years of slow damage could mean a lot of problems.

I hope you stay and discuss all of this.  I am not disapproving of the pot so much as I am concerned that you are not addressing the MS in a way that is more likely to keep you from so much ultimate disability.  Pot may make you feel better but, it has its own disadvantages, like knocking off more gray cells than you can afford, knowing tha MS will do that, too.

Quix, MD
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Avatar universal
Hi there and welcome.

I won't comment on marijuana for ms symptoms, as others know much more about this than I do.

I will say, though, that you are taking a risk in not using one of the disease modifying drugs for ms. Perhaps you are quite knowledgeable about the pros and cons of these meds, and have looked at all the research findings. If so, you know that they have been shown scientifically to slow the progression of ms in many people.  There are no guarantees, of course, and they don't help at all with current symptoms, so maybe you're putting this decision off. All I can say to that is that we have quite a number of members here who very much wish they had started on one of the meds years ago. These folks now suffer from permanent disability, which can also be very painful. We also have some members who have been MSers for many years, long before the meds were available, and now their disease has gone from the relapsing/remitting form to secondary progressive MS.

Our Health Pages (click on them in the upper right) have a great deal of info about all aspects of MS, including treatment. I hope you'll take time to look at them. We are always here to answer questions to the best of our ability, and to provide support for each other, and of course for new members.

The best of luck to you.

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Avatar universal
Persistent Effects(lasting longer than intoxication, but may not be permanent)
               Impairs memory and learning skills
Long-term Effects (cumulative, potentially permanent effects of chronic abuse)
               Can lead to addiction
               Increases risk of chronic cough, bronchitis, and emphysema
               Increases risk of cancer of the head, neck, and lungs

It makes you less smart than you would be otherwise, and you will probably die younger.

The decision seems self-evident to me.

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