Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neural autoimmune disease. Neural refers to nerves system where as autoimmune refers to immune system which attacks itself. A healthy immune system protects the body from infection but the case is reversed in autoimmune where body attacks the healthy cells. A substance called myelin wraps around your nerves to protect them. MS is the failure of myelin as your body attacks itself. The word “sclerosis” refers to the scar tissue or lesions that appear as the myelin is damaged. The exposed nerves can’t function as they would with normal, healthy myelin. Below listed are few facts of Multiple Sclerosis that you should know.
Fact No.1: It’s not a death sentence
Yes there is still no cure for Multiple Sclerosis but the life expectancy of anybody suffering from this disease is good and thus declared by Multiple Sclerosis Foundation –MS is not a fatal disease. Patients who have MS have essentially the same life expectancy as common population. The prediction for long life is good except in cases of severe MS, which is quite rare.
Fact No.2: Anyone can get MS
MS can affect anyone at any age of time though it is known to be very rare in young kids. The age range is said to be between 20-40 years of age. It most commonly first develops around the age of 30. It is twice as common in women as in men. MS is not firmly a genetic disease. However, there is a bigger chance of MS developing in close relatives of affected people. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, about 200 people are diagnosed with MS every week.
Fact No.3: Not all symptoms and causes are the same
The symptoms and causes MS can vary from person to person. Few of the common symptoms are:
- Visual issues: MS affects the optic nerve which disrupts central vision many patients complain of problems such as blurry, double or loss of vision.
- Numbness: MS attacks the brain and the spinal cord which can result in numbness
- Chronic Pain: Many patients suffer from involuntary muscle spasms and twitches
- Fatigue: Patients can suffer from fatigue and weakness
- Dizziness: Patient suffering from MS have trouble balancing themselves and often feel dizzy.
- Cognitive Issues: People suffering from MS will develop cognitive issues over period of time such as slurred speeches, expressing themselves, language issues and short attention span
Rare symptoms include:
- hearing loss
- uncontrollable shaking
- breathing problems
- slurred speech
- trouble swallowing
Fact No.4: Not every MS patient is the same
Yes it’s true not every MS patient is the same. The disease can vary from patient to patient in its severity. Something working for one patient may not work for the other and as such every case should be dealt exclusively.
Fact No.5: MS is treatable
MS does not have a cure yet but the prognosis looks good in the future. The medications are rapidly changing and getting better. Even though there is no cure the disease is still treatable. MS patients should eat healthy and exercise. They should also limit their physical and mental activity that can put them under undue stress Women with MS can also get pregnant if they choose to and often go in remission when doing so.
Let’s hope for a cure! According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, developments in the treatment and understanding of MS are being made every year, and the likelihood that future investigation will in the end find the cure for MS is very reassuring.