Is Multiple Sclerosis hereditary? This is no doubt a question which crosses the mind of every person with MS when they look at their children. The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is more prevalent in young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. It is also more common women and affects 50% more women than men. The diagnosis is rarely seen below the ages of 12 and over the ages of 55. In America 200 people per day are diagnosed with MS and over 2 1/2 million people in the world are sufferers today.
There are conflicting reports nowadays as to whether multiple sclerosis in itself is hereditary. Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease and there is a school of thought that believes that whilst it is not hereditary, it is autoimmune diseases that are. What this means is that if someone in your family has Multiple Sclerosis they may be at increased risk of contracting another auto immune disease for example in inflammatory bowel disease or autoimmune thyroid disease.
It is also true to say however that the incidence of Multiple Sclerosis developing in the offspring of a multiple sclerosis sufferer is greater. The chances of a person developing MS is roughly 0.1% whereas a child who has one parent and MS sufferer has roughly 2% chance of developing MS. If on the other hand both of your parents have MS the risk rises to around 10%.
Whether or not Multiple Sclerosis is hereditary is an area where studies are still continuing and to be honest I have found that for me it is best not to get hung up on facts and figures. Most of my energy is spent on living life to the full whilst maximising the opportunity I have to fight my MS. There are so many things that you can do to help your body in its fight against this disease.
For me the easiest thing to do and the thing that made the most sense to do was to radically change my diet. The incidence of MS is much more prevalent today than it was in the days of our ancestors. For the last couple of hundred thousand years our bodies have been used to a diet based on an nuts, berries, fruit and vegetables. It is only in the last 150 years or so that we have introduced sugars and fats so widely into our diet, so, ask yourself is it just a coincidence that MS is now much more commonplace, or could it just possibly have something to do with what we put into our bodies as fuel.
So Multiple Sclerosis, hereditary or not is not something I can do anything about, but what I can do is do my best to minimise its effects is my body and if Multiple Sclerosis is Hereditary then maybe, just maybe I will have in some way lessened the chances of passing it on.