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Multiple Sclerosis and Bladder Infections

Bladder infections are a common finding in MS and may be a big clue to the cause of the disorder.  As far as I know, bladder infections in adults are caused by present day bacteria, not air pollution, not a lack of essential fatty acids and not from milk drinking during your childhood - the factors many researchers attribute to a cause of MS.  Probiotics, which add beneficial bacteria to a person's intestinal tract, have been shown to prevent urinary tract and vaginal infections.  Interestingly, probiotics also increase absorption of nutrients like magnesium and the B vitamins, which have been shown to be low in various studies of people with MS. 

A lack of beneficial bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful intestinal bacteria, which, besides bladder infections, can cause intestinal gas and bloating.  Interestingly, intestinal gas has been linked to MS, as have a wide variety of bowel problems that share symptoms of those associated with an overgrowth of harmful intestinal bacteria. Recent studies recommend probiotics for treating irritable bowel syndrome, a condition characterized by intestinal gas and bloating.  An overgrowth of harmful intestinal bacteria can also cause pruritus, a condition associated with multiple sclerosis. 

Symptoms of MS often appear right after people have had a cold or the flu -- a time when people often get treated with antibiotics.  Antibiotics wipe out both the bad bacteria and the beneficial bacteria that people need to absorb nutrients properly.  If people do not eat cultured food like yogurt or take probiotics after antibiotic therapy, the beneficial bacteria that ideally should be residing in their stomachs never get replaced, and may allow less desirable bacteria to multiply and thrive.  Perhaps antibiotics wiping out beneficial bacteria play a role in MS. Antibiotics are only common in industrialized countries, where MS is also more common.  
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