The Truth About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, also referred to as MS, is an autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves within the body. There are hundreds of thousands of people suffering from this medical condition in this country. Despite this, there are still a lot of misconceptions concerning the disorder. Patients often feel as if they have been given a death sentence. While the symptoms can be harsh, MS does not mean you are automatically terminally ill. Fortunately, there are many resources for those dealing with multiple sclerosis. The key is to identify and separate the facts from the myths.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic progressive disease associated with the central nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. It controls very important aspects of the body, such as walking, talking, and vision. MS damages the protective layer surrounding the nerves. This damage leaves the nerves weak and exposed. The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are broad and varied. They range from a mild numbness in the extremities to total blindness. This disease is also identified by the frequency and intensity of the symptoms. People with MS experience episodes where their symptoms present at severe levels. However, there are also periods of time during which the symptoms go into full remission. While it can be treated and managed, there is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis.

Treatment Options

There are several different forms of treatment for multiple sclerosis. The most common course of treatment consists of a combination of medications. There are some prescribed medications that can ease the pain, reduce the severity of the attacks, and possibly slow the progression of the disease. Many specialists also recommend various forms of therapy. For example, MS can affect a person’s ability to talk. However, speech therapy is an option that helps patients maintain lines of communication. There are also therapy exercises that can improve bladder and bowel control. In severe cases, your doctor may suggest deep brain stimulation surgery. While there are significant risks, this procedure has proven to be effective in controlling tremors and weakness.

Life After the Diagnosis

Most people with multiple sclerosis are not severely disabled. In fact, MS patients can have a completely normal life expectancy. Besides traditional medical treatment, there are additional methods that patients can take to help them cope with MS. These methods are usually as simple as making a few lifestyle adjustments. For example, regular exercise can be an excellent way to relieve some of the numbness and tension associated with multiple sclerosis. Another helpful tip is to get plenty of rest. The body requires sleep and relaxation in order to function properly. This is especially true for those suffering from a debilitating disease, like MS. If you are struggling with the emotional aspects of this condition, there also support groups and meetings you can attend. These groups can offer sympathy and share similar experiences.

A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can be frightening and overwhelming. However, multiple Sclerosis affects everyone’s system differently. No one can dictate how you will lead the rest of your life. People with MS can go on to lead normal, fulfilling lives. There are also doctors, specialists, and therapists who have been trained to communicate the risks and treatment options available.