There has been disagreement concerning the association between stressful life events and an increased risk for MS exacerbations because of the lack of agreement about what stress really is.
It is well known that when the human body is under stress, an excess amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, is released into the blood stream. When this occurs over the short term and under the correct conditions, it is a good thing. But, if the release of cortisol occurs too often for too long, it is a bad thing; and exacerbations in MS may follow.
As it turns out, your hair keeps a 1-month record of the amount of cortisol released. Now, when you get your hair analyzed for cortisol, your hair will tell you if you’ve been under stress. This will help you figure out what caused the stress and, then, you can do something about it to reduce your chances of having an exacerbation. See references below.
1. Int J Neurosci. 2009;119(3):315-35.
The effects of stressful life events on the course of multiple sclerosis: a review.
Mitsonis CI, et al
2. J Neurol Sci. 2010 Jan 15;288(1-2):42-4.
The effect of war stress on multiple sclerosis exacerbations and radiological disease activity.
Yamout B, et al
3. Ann Neurol. 2008 Aug;64(2):143-8.
Impact of exposure to war stress on exacerbations of multiple sclerosis.
Golan D,et al
4. Mult Scler. 2005 Aug;11(4):477-84.
A review of stress-relapse interactions in multiple sclerosis: important features and stress-mediating and -moderating variables.
Brown RF, et al
5. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Apr 17
High Long-Term Cortisol Levels, Measured in Scalp Hair, Are Associated With a History of Cardiovascular Disease
L. Manenschijn, et al
Dr. Rudy Cartwright
MS Health Coach
PS: Let me hear from you. Get your hair analyzed.