Most experts agree that, to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), people should avoid infections and inflammation. Why is that? Because MS involves mis-educated t-cells that attack the myelin rather than germs.

That’s why we eat an anti-inflammatory diet and avoid infections. The research shows that both viral and bacterial infections can cause a worsening of MS symptoms or relapses.

One study, for example, suggests that about 50 percent of relapses may be the result of infections. Other studies have shown that MS relapses are more likely to occur with almost any type of infection.

For example, one study found relapses were more likely to occur in the presence of upper respiratory infections. Both viral and bacterial infections are culprits − making MS worse.

The culpability of infections makes sense. Since infections trigger production of t-cells, there are more mis-educated t-cells around to attack the myelin when infections occur. It is vital to avoid infections, and it is also wise to pay attention to oral care because poor oral care can result in gum infections.

Rebecca Hoover