Bringing a baby into this world is an important decision in a woman's life. You have to evaluate the situation with your partner, the emotional moment you are living and, also, the health of the future mother. If you are thinking of get pregnant and have multiple sclerosisThese tips on how to cope with pregnancy, postpartum, and breastfeeding can help!
First of all, it would be important to explain what multiple sclerosis. It is a disease that occurs due to the loss of myelin, which is a substance that surrounds the nerves and is associated with an inflammatory process. It mainly affects young adults and, in advanced stages, it ends up generating neuronal death that translates into sensory and motor problems ...
The manifestations of this disease are different depending on the part of the brain that is affected. Autoimmunity has long been considered the origin of this disease, but more and more evidence is being found of an extra-neuronal origin in the production of antibodies.
This origin has a lot to do with intestinal health and the microbiota, as with the rest of autoimmune diseases. Other factors that influence the evolution of the disease are also being studied, such as vitamin D levels (when studying the prevalence of the disease, we found that it occurs less in countries with more hours of sun exposure).
Both factors are important from the point of view of epigenetics, which consists of the ability of environmental or emotional factors (diet, exercise, supplementation, toxic) to 'turn on' or 'turn off' various genes that can improve or worsen development of this and any other disease ...
This aspect is of great importance in any medical consultation, since professional advice about these modifiable lifestyle factors takes on much more importance. The multiple sclerosis, therefore, it is related to the gut-brain axis and studies are also beginning to emerge that could link it to non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
It is important to know that pregnancy is not discouraged in a woman with multiple sclerosis. Nor has it been shown that this disease reduces fertility or increases the risk of miscarriage or any deficit of the baby at birth (low weight, malformations ...); and backwards, Pregnancy also does not negatively affect the development of the disease or pose a risk to the pregnant woman. Moreover, as we will say later, it is usually beneficial for the pregnant woman. It is also not a hereditary disease, so the child does not have to inherit it.
Yes, we must have a series of precautions that anyone should adopt, but in the case of these patients with greater insistence. Thus, when required, it would be advisable to modify lifestyle habits in terms of nutrition or physical exercise or toxic substances (including exposure to radiation). In this way, we can improve intestinal health, which begins with taking care of the microbiota, which is highly influenced by our diet, the drugs we take and the degree of stress to which we are subjected (due to the epigenetic factors mentioned above).
Like the rest of the autoimmune diseases, during the pregnancy the women present a time of stability of the disease. That is, they improve, they have fewer outbreaks and it is almost certain that they will have to reduce the medication or even sometimes have to stop taking it. This is the most difficult issue to handle, since you always have to follow the specialist's instructions.
Before making the decision to become pregnant, it is advisable to assess factors that may arise in the postpartum period, since in this period there may be a higher incidence of an outbreak (as in any autoimmune disease), even if the medication has been resumed.
The couple has to consider the logistical support circumstances at this stage, because the mother may need more help. As for breastfeeding, you have to talk to the specialist and check that the medication you take passes or does not pass the placental barrier (not all do). But in general, breastfeeding is not advised.
Food is also an important issue. We should avoid saturated fats, animal protein and encourage the consumption of omega 3. On the issue of dairy, you can opt for alternative sources of calcium to cow's milk (which if taken should be skimmed to avoid fats saturated that negatively affect the development of the disease).
Such alternative dietary sources of calcium to dairy could be, for example, sesame seeds, almonds, small fish with bones such as anchovies or sardines (which are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids), broccoli, raw spinach or seaweed ( eye, in this case if you have a problem with thyroid function, consult a specialist).
We could, according to which cases, assess the withdrawal of gluten in the diet, without behaving like a celiac, but if following a diet low in these types of cereals, because the latest research on multiple sclerosis suggests that it could be related to non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It is recommended to consume abundant fruits, vegetables, legumes and seeds.
It is also very important follow omega 3 supplementation If it cannot be ingested through food, for example, if you follow a vegetarian diet, or have any problem with fish, it can be ingested in the form of flax seeds.
In the event that the pregnant woman had to follow an antibiotic treatment, it is important to repopulate the flora with probiotics (always according to the recommendation of an expert). Some prebiotics (it is the 'food' of probiotics) present in food, such as type 3 starch (in legumes and potatoes), are very interesting. To take them, it is essential to cook them and then cool them in the fridge for 24 hours. Then they should be taken without reheating or slightly tempered so that they do not lose their properties.
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