There’s no doubt that medical research has saved lives and helped prevent people from developing a myriad of diseases. But it can get a little confusing when you read a story one week that says suntanning causes skin cancer and then you read another that says sun exposure may prevent multiple sclerosis.
And yet that’s what happened this week on TV stations and internet health websites worldwide.
A new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that people who sun themselves and have higher Vitamin D levels may reduce their risk of developing the central nervous system disease, MS. People who have MS may lose their balance, have trouble walking and moving their limbs, experience muscle spasms and tremors. They may feel numbness in any part of their body. The body attacks its own central nervous system, creating inflammation and nerve damage.
The disease can be debilitating.
But so can skin cancer.
This is why seeing a doctor is so important when it comes to making health decisions. A qualified physician can tell you whether the risk of developing skin cancer outweighs the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. People who have family members affected by MS have a slightly higher risk of developing the disease. And those who have fair skin and a history of precancerous growths need expert advice on seeking the sun.
Research studies are invaluable information but let your doctor sort it out for you.
Sources: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
American Academy of Neurology
Learn More about Bon Secours Neurosciences Institute