Article written by Dr. Michelle Strydom MD
Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most common neurological causes of long term disability. It is an autoimmune disease which means the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the nerves. Therefore to understand the physical and spiritual dynamics behind multiple sclerosis, you need to first read through the chapter on autoimmune diseases on page 200.
Once you have read through the chapter on autoimmune diseases, please read through the section on page 46 under the heading “Separation from God’s Love” which also has essential background information relevant to multiple sclerosis.
There can also be a genetic defect that contributes to the development of multiple sclerosis. Therefore I also recommend that you read through the chapter on genetically inherited diseases on page 153, especially if other family members also had multiple sclerosis.
To help you understand what multiple sclerosis is, I need to first explain to you how a nerve normally works: Muscles cause different parts of your body to move. For example your arm moves when the muscles in your arm contract and relax. Your legs move when the different muscles in your leg contract and relax. Your muscles are instructed when to make a part of your body move by the brain. Your brain sends instructions to the muscles in the form of electrical current that travels along nerves to the muscles. The “electric shock” from the nerves attached to that muscle make it contract and move. When the electric shock is over, the muscle relaxes.
A nerve is like an electrical wire that is covered with an insulation coat. The insulation coat around a nerve is called a myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is not continuous along the whole length of the nerve – there are gaps in between the segments of the myelin sheath. These gaps where the nerve is not covered by the sheath are called nodes of Ranvier. When the electrical current travels along the nerve, it jumps from one node of Ranvier to the next, skipping out the length of nerve that is covered by the myelin sheath in between. This enables the electrical current to travel extremely fast along the nerve to the muscle.
In multiple sclerosis, the cells of the immune system attack and destroy the myelin sheaths covering the nerves. The T cells release toxic chemicals that damage the myelin sheath and the eating cells (macrophages) literally eat up chunks of the myelin sheath. Because that part of the myelin sheath is damaged, the nerve in that area is exposed – it is like another node of Ranvier has been created. Therefore the electrical current is not able to jump over that portion of the nerve and it slows the speed at which the electrical current is able to travel along the nerve.
In multiple sclerosis, there is deep, deep self-hatred and guilt that often comes out of a father’s rejection.
The damage caused by the cells of the immune system results in inflammation around the nerve which eventually damages and destroys the nerve itself. The inflammation also directly interferes with the conduction of the electrical current along the nerve. In essence the electrical current is not able to effectively travel along the nerve and so it is slowed down. As a result the muscles are not properly stimulated to contract. Therefore the muscles move very slowly and weakly. There is nothing wrong with the muscles – the problem is the nerves stimulating the muscles. The electrical current can even be blocked completely due to severe damage to the nerve. If the electrical current cannot get to the muscle, the muscle will not be able to move and that part of the body is paralyzed.
The physical symptoms experienced in multiple sclerosis depend on which part of the body the nerves are damaged:
• 40% of people have weakness in the legs.
• 20% have pins and needles or loss of sensation in an area.
• 30% have problems with vision, such as double vision due to damage to the eye nerve (optic neuritis).
• 5% have problems with bladder function.
• 5% have problems with severe dizziness and loss of balance (vertigo)..
The disease typically follows a pattern where the person has a relapse and then a period of improvement. During the period of improvement, the immune system has temporarily stopped attacking the nerves and they are given a chance to recover a little. However the recovery from the damage is usually incomplete and therefore the person’s overall condition progressively deteriorates. The progress of the disease is variable. The disease is rapidly progressive in some people, especially children, while others may survive for over 20 years with only minor disability. Common complications of the disease include urinary tract infections, chest infections and pressure sores. Most people die as a result of these problems rather than from multiple sclerosis itself. Sometimes a person dies because the multiple sclerosis gets so severe
that even the muscles needed for breathing do not work or there is severe damage to the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. However, it doesn’t have to go that way. There is no disease that is incurable with God when His conditions for healing are met.
As you read in the chapter on autoimmune diseases, when you are attacking yourself spiritually with thoughts of self-hatred, self-rejection, self-condemnation, self disapproval, guilt and condemnation, your brain will eventually convert that into a physical reaction and your body begins to attack and destroy itself physically. In multiple sclerosis, there is deep, deep self-hatred and guilt that often comes out of a father’s rejection. You see, the father is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the family (see Ephesians 5 v 22 – 25). It is the father, not the mother, who reaffirms identity and destiny into a child. The father is responsible for his daughter and his son’s self-esteem and sense of self worth and value. It is the father’s job to reflect the Father heart of God to His family.
Your healing is going to begin with learning to receive God the Father’s love and you may need ministry in this area as I explained on page 51 in the section I initially referred you to. This also involves releasing bitterness and forgiving your father or the man who hurt you. The chapter on page 481 will help you in this area.
Secondly, it is vital that you develop a healthy self-esteem. This comes from knowing who you are in Christ and establishing your sense of self worth and identity in Him. You need to change your thinking concerning how you see yourself and learn to see yourself as God sees you. Who God the Father says you are is more important than what your earthly father said about you. The chapter on page 498 which will help you with this. When you learn to love yourself, your new thinking patterns will be converted into a physical reaction, which this time is healthy. Your immune system will recover and begin functioning as God originally designed it to, and will no longer attack and destroy its own body tissue.
Lastly, damage done to nerve tissue is often irreversible. A creative miracle by God and ministry is needed to restore this type of damage. In the Name of Jesus you need to command the immune system to stop attacking the nerves and operating in the gift of miracles you need to speak new nerves into being. I explain more about operating in the gift of miracles on page 123 under the heading “You Can’t Always Do It Alone”.
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