Thoughts on the MS Hug

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Thoughts on the MS Hug

Postby jimmylegs » Tue May 06, 2008 10:43 am

about spasm, respiratory function, muscle groups, and relief. my difficulties with breathing eased after i started on magnesium, as well as sorting out my throat pretty well. i am having difficulty getting a full breath today so in addition to the ppl mentioning it here, it's kind of front and centre right now. guess i've been slackin a bit :S
This is the term for one of the rather strange and weird symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis which can be classed as one of the many invisible symptoms but also as a spasm-type symptom.
There are tiny muscles between each rib, called intercostal muscles which basically hold the ribs together, but also give the ribcage some flexibility; it's when these muscles go into spasm that we get the MS hug
Respiratory muscle function and exercise capacity in multiple sclerosis
K Foglio, E Clini, D Facchetti, M Vitacca, S Marangoni, M Bonomelli, and N Ambrosino

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) show a poor exercise tolerance. A reduction in respiratory muscle strength has also been reported. ... Respiratory muscle strength as assessed both by maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) was significantly reduced (MIP 18-76 cmH2O; MEP 16-82 cmH2O) compared to predicted values...
R. S. HOWARD1,2, C. M. WILES1,*, N. P. HIRSCH1, L. LOH1,*,*, G. T. SPENCER2 and J. NEWSOM-DAVIS1,*,*
Respiratory complications occur in advanced multiple sclerosis (MS) but may also complicate acute relapses earlier in the disease. ... Respiratory muscle weakness was a major factor in 14 patients (predominantly diaphragm involvement in six), bulbar weakness in seven patients, impaired voluntary control in three and impaired automatic control in three.
The effect of magnesium oral therapy on spasticity in a patient with multiple sclerosis
The effects of magnesium glycerophosphate oral therapy on spasticity was studied in a 35-year-old woman with severe spastic paraplegia resulting from multiple sclerosis (MS). We found a significant improvement in the spasticity after only 1 week from the onset of the treatment on the modified Ashworth scale, an improvement in the range of motion and in the measures of angles at resting position in lower limbs. No side-effects were reported and there was no weakness in the arms during the treatment.

and finally, unrelated to MS but very specific in terms of the muscle groups involved in spasm, and magnesium as a treatment option:
Tetanic convulsions--violent, painful paroxysms of muscle contractions superimposed on underlying rigidity--can occur spontaneously or in response to minor stimulation, such as nursing care or noise. These spasms can involve the laryngeal, intercostal, and diaphragmatic muscles, resulting in apnea.
Magnesium sulfate has emerged as an effective alternative to traditional sedatives in tetanus. Attygalle and Rodrigo, in two separate studies [25**, 26**, Class III], demonstrated the ability of intravenous (IV) magnesium sulfate to control spasms in severe tetanus with less sedation, minimized ventilatory support, and tolerance of enteral feeds.

oh yea and i just have to include this beauty again yikes
...The range of pathologies associated with Mg deficiency is staggering: hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, etc.), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimers disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioral disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, Ca deficiency (osteoporosis, hypertension, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence (lack of NO), aggression (lack of NO), fibromas, K deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), Fe accumulation, etc. Finally, because there are so many variables involved in the Mg metabolism, evaluating the effect of Mg in many diseases has frustrated many researchers who have simply tried supplementation with Mg, without undertaking the task of ensuring its absorption and preventing excessive elimination, rendering the study of Mg deficiency much more difficult than for most other nutrients.
User avatar
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 11114
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:00 pm


Now My Thoughts on Your Thoughts on MS Hug

Postby lyndacarol » Tue May 06, 2008 6:11 pm

I respect your contributions; they are well-supported and thought-provoking. Your latest prompted more questions in me. I am NO scientist; you are more one than I am. Maybe you know some answers--I certainly don't!

I have learned that insulin stiffens and thickens smooth muscles. I assume this alters their function. I know that smooth muscles surround the blood vessels, the bladder, the intestines; I wonder if this accounts for poor circulation and cold extremities, incontinence, and constipation of many with MS.

Are these intercostal muscles between the ribs also smooth muscles?

And on the nutrient deficiencies...Celiac disease is said to be caused by the destruction of the villi in the small intestine by gluten. This interferes with absorption of nutrients, such as calcium, iron, vitamin B12. In fact, aren't MOST ALL nutrients absorbed in the small intestine?

I wonder if the villi are destroyed by insulin (You KNEW that would be my thought, didn't you?); maybe my vitamin D cannot be absorbed from capsules in the small intestine nearly as well as through sunshine on the skin for that reason! (It will rain the next two days--I must get out in the sun this weekend!)

Just thinking.
User avatar
Family Elder
Posts: 3383
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:00 pm

Postby jimmylegs » Tue May 06, 2008 7:12 pm

hi LC, here's some blurbs on muscle types.
i haven't read these articles thoroughly enough to state with any certainty, but i'm going to surmise that intercostal muscles are skeletal. it may be that insulin thickens and stiffens skeletal muscle also, but i don't know.

i think it's quite possible that insulin contributes to the kinds of problems that you mention, and that it can do so because there is a problem with its regulation. it's all interconnected. we can't look for one answer to this problem there are probably many, which is why we only have a statistical diagnostic tool, and an umbrella term for an illness with such varied experiences for each patient.

if we look at nutrient issues and insulin together, we can start with zinc. zinc deficiency has been linked to intestinal permeability, autoimmune response and inflammation as described here:

Zinc deficiency – Zinc is necessary in maintaining intestinal wall integrity. Supplementing with zinc could contribute significantly to healing a leaky gut in about eight weeks (Sturniolo 2001). Zinc is also instrumental in a maintaining a healthy immune system (Prasad 2002). The synthesis of serotonin involves zinc. Since serotonin is also necessary for melatonin synthesis, a zinc deficiency may result in low levels of both of these compounds, causing problems with the sleep cycle, calming, and hyperness.

Even though the gut is becoming leakier, vitamin and mineral absorption becomes reduced - not increased, as you might expect - because some carrier mechanisms of absorption become damaged as part of the process. Many nutrients have to be carried across the barrier and will not otherwise be absorbed.

so, let's say we get the zinc levels back up. finally, the body can hold onto the food and supplements as they pass through, including magnesium. at higher levels of supplementation zinc can interfere with magnesium absorption, all this stuff has to balance with the calcium and d3 too, but basically until you have an intact digestive tract, and serum zinc levels on a par with the "control" part of the normal range and not our little ms zone inside the normal range, i think you're okay with supplementing zinc. plus you can play with the timing of putting in the various nutrients.

and once you can hang onto magnesium, then you get its benefits including those related to insulin. i'm not going full-on journalesque here, but this is an interesting blurb:

The link between diabetes mellitus and magnesium deficiency is well known. A growing body of evidence suggests that magnesium plays a pivotal role in reducing cardiovascular risks and may be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes itself. While the benefits of oral magnesium supplementation on glycemic control have yet to be demonstrated in patients, magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Based on current knowledge, clinicians have good reason to believe that magnesium repletion may play a role in delaying type 2 diabetes onset and potentially in warding off its devastating complications -- cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, and nephropathy.

there's quite a bit of research on the nutritional requirements for insulin regulation in a healthy body, and it's quite handy that so many of the ones that are useful in diabetes are useful in ms and in other inflammatory conditions. i think if we make sure our parts are all topped up with the right ingredients, with a little extra here and there to make up for genetic shortcomings or just changes that occur with aging, we have the best shot at supporting our bodies to heal themselves :)

so, what came first, the zinc chicken or the insulin egg in this intestinal scenario? i don't know, but if zinc helps fix it so that absorption of nutrients like magnesium can then better support the body to control insulin secretion and sensitivity, then it just sounds like win-win to me!

certainly up til last fall i'd been having way too much d3 compared to my calcium magnesium and zinc, but at least as of this year i know where i'm out of whack and it's fixable :)
enjoy the sun this weekend LC!
User avatar
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 11114
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:00 pm

Return to General Discussion


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

Contact us | Terms of Service