The automatic nervous system is part of the central nervous system. It controls vital functions, one of which is breathing, which we do without thinking. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, it is unusual for MS to affect the nervous system and therefore breathing.
How Multiple Sclerosis affects breathing
However, patients with MS will experience muscle weakness. This affects all parts of the body, including the breathing muscles. These muscles, mainly the diaphragm and intercostals begin to lose their strength and stamina. As a result, breathing becomes more difficult and breathing in and out feels like hard work. Consequently, this adds to the feeling of fatigue, which is already a debilitating symptom of Multiple Sclerosis. Furthermore, the weakness of the breathing muscles may also impede speech and voice production.
How to improve breathing strength and stamina
A 2007 study shows that Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) significantly increases breathing muscle strength in people with MS. Additionally, IMT improves how well the lungs work in people with Multiple Sclerosis who have minimal to moderate disability.
The effects of Multiple Sclerosis on your body
Healthline, the fastest growing health information site, has created this medically reviewed infographic showing the effects of MS on the body.
The infographic itself provides a quick look at the effects of MS on the body. However, the rest of the article goes on to explain in more depth how this progressive neurodegenerative condition has an impact on the whole body.