Multiple sclerosis (MS) primarily affects the central nervous system, but it can have secondary effects on other parts of the body, including the gastrointestinal (GI) system. These effects can include both infectious and non-infectious complications. It's important to note that each individual's experience with MS can vary, so it's always best to consult with the healthcare provider for personalized advice.
When it comes to infectious complications in MS, individuals may have a higher risk of certain infections due to immune system dysfunction. (1,2)Common infections in MS can include urinary tract infections (UTIs), respiratory infections, and skin infections. On the other hand, DMTs affect the immune system in particular ways leading to immune suppression and cause infection. We discuss the interpretation of some lab data relevant to MS medications.
In terms of gastrointestinal complications, individuals with MS can experience a range of symptoms related to digestion and bowel function mainly due to side effects of their DMTs. Also, some gastrointestinal infections may limit the use of DMTs.
Managing these gastrointestinal complications and infectious risks in MS involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, medications, and supportive care.